In looking for support for the idea of “recovery capital,” I came upon an article for which I’ve included the link:
Now, it should come as no surprise that those with strong social supports are better able to find healthy options to replace unhealthy behaviors. Those socials supports that favor abstinence over drinking, as discussed in the article, provide a community of like-minded people who can help former drinkers remain abstinent from drinking alcohol.
Likewise, however, those social supports that favor drinking will increase the odds that someone in recovery will relapse towards drinking. Reminds of what my grandmother always said: Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are. That’s a rough translation, as my grandmother didn’t speak English, but the meaning is the same: If you hang around people who act in unhealthy ways, chances are, you will also act in unhealthy ways. Even more simply put, birds of a feather flock together, for better or for worse.
The idea of social network supports extends especially to adolescents. As is common knowledge, peers determine much of an adolescent’s worldview. Therefore, it’s exceedingly important to monitor teen social activities such that high-risk behaviors can be redirected to healthy behaviors. That is, if a teen who is at-risk of developing an addiction to alcohol, then that teen must be redirected to groups and activities that are both fun and do not involve alcohol. While it may be easier said than done, doing nothing will allow the development of an alcohol use disorder.
I don’t think there are easy solutions to the “addiction problem.” However, I also don’t see the harm in looking at the importance of social network structures as part of developing recovery capital. The more we educate ourselves about what constitutes “recovery,” the better we can all face the problem.