Personal Social Model Recovery

New research in the field of behavioural science have evolved new ways to measure and track progress in the drug addiction recovery process. This underlines a major boost to the drug addiction treatment industry as both service providers and patients in recovery, are well aware that with greater commitment and focus, the path to attaining sobriety and self-discovery is clearer and easier.

The personal social model recovery system in drug rehab facilities or treatment homes emphasizes on unlearning old patterns of response behaviours and replacing them with new, more positive and health-enhancing responses to better cope with stressors, pressures, challenges and anxieties. This is achieved by observing, mimicking or experiencing the new, healthier response patterns as exemplified by role models or social support groups.



According to the US’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), drug addiction recovery involves an all-round change that improves the patient’s health and wellness, help them attain self-directed lives and work towards fulfilling their full potentials. This is demonstrated by four major pointers which provide evidence that the individual is on the road to recovery:

  1. Health – An improved capacity to better cope and overcome the withdrawal symptoms of safe abstinence and making intelligent choices that support better and more balanced living and lifestyle- making informed choices for healthier life with emotional balance.
  2. Home– Having a stable and safe place to live.
  3. PurposeFinding satisfaction and fulfilment in a purposeful activity like work, family caretaking volunteerism, or some daily creative tasks.
  4. Community– Having social relationships and groups that provide support, friendship, love and warmth.

Tracking Progress With Personal Recovery Model

Researchers and behavioural scientists continue to develop efficient and more accurate models, but the current body of knowledge outlines 3 key indicators in the personal recovery model to measure and track the progress of treatment and sobriety levels of the patient. They are recovery capital, social identity and learning, and therapeutic communities.

Recovery Capital

Recovery capital is the total resources the patient has at their disposal to complete their treatment and progress steadily to full sobriety. It also refers to the social and psychological skills and capabilities they require to manage the effects of quitting drug use or dependence well. Such intangible recovery capitals include self-esteem, resilience and self-confidence. It is the currency by which the resources and skills needed for full recovery are measured, so areas that lack may be filled or latent recovery capital may be explored and maximally utilized.


Social Identity And Learning

This is a clinical application of the social learning theory in drug use which says that people can pick up negative or positive behaviours by simply observing the reward and punishment systems of using drugs and vice versa. For example, if a teenager sees their frazzled parent suddenly getting satisfaction and relief from a banned substance, the adolescent may begin to associate the drug with a feeling of relief.

The social identity theory applies this principle in reverse for the personal recovery model, such as building healthy relationships with non-drug abusers and observing how genuinely happy and fulfilled they are without having to abuse a substance.


Therapeutic Communities

This refers to the geographical location the recovering patient lives and how much support and network is available and accessible there, to speed up the patient’s recovery.


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