Addiction is a costly problem. Depending on certain factors, the cost is between $500 billion and $1 trillion. Most of these costs are due to strain on public services (healthcare, criminal justice, social services) and economics (labor shortages, reduced opportunity). And as you can see from just the economics, addiction impacts many areas of life. Yet, most solutions are focused and designed around a particular substance.
Addiction is often a chicken and egg sort of problem. We have so many people suffering — deeply affected by the long-term use of substances — we need to build services to address that need. But, unless we fix the social, behavioral, economic, and systems failures, just as many people enter into addiction as fast as we take them out.
What’s the answer?
Part of the answer is doing a better job learning from those affected by addiction. If we know where the pain points are, the factors that cause addiction (I know, strong statement), we can fix the issue and prevent more addiction in the future.
At Commonly Well, we believe our tool, the Recovery Capital Index, can identify those pain points. This subjective and scientifically validated survey measures what’s known as “recovery capital”. Essentially, what are the assets in a person’s life that promote recovery from addiction. By the way, those same factors, if in place generally, will stem the onset of addiction too.
It’s fair that people outside the addiction and recovery space wouldn’t know about recovery capital. But within the industry, the concept is not well known, despite being coined in 1999.
So, we are partnering with Sigmund Software to expand the conversation on recovery capital. Together, we are starting a new blog series: Recovery Capital: A Series on Sustainable Recovery.
Sigmund Software is an EHR software company that has served mental health and addiction treatment organizations since 2004. After working closely with many diverse behavioral health communities over the last 17 years, Sigmund understands and appreciates the intersection of mental health and substance use. Recovery capital incorporates that intersectionality within a dynamic statistical framework, two elements that have always driven Sigmund’s software innovation. Sigmund’s team is passionate about improving outcomes in behavioral health and believes that providing a platform to learn about recovery capital is an important part of that mission.
The series begins today and can be read on Sigmund’s blog.
We will share the series through Commonly Well’s newsletter and post excerpts and other essays here.
Please follow along with the series. Even if you don’t work in the healthcare, behavioral health, or addiction recovery, I think you’ll come to learn that you and whatever you do are actually part of the solution to our nation’s addiction problem.
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