There is a well-established relationship between isolation and both morbidity and mortality in the context of addiction recovery, yet the protective effects of intimate and familial relationships have not been adequately assessed. The current paper uses the European Life In Recovery database to assess the association between relationship status and living with dependent children on recovery capital of people in recovery from drug addiction, operationalised by the Strengths And Barriers Recovery Scale (SABRS). The study participants were drawn from the REC-PATH study and supplemented by a second sample recruited by the Recovered Users Network (RUN) across various European countries, resulting in a combined sample of 1,313 individuals completing the survey, primarily online. The results show that, in recovery, those who are married or co-habiting reported significantly greater recovery strengths and fewer barriers to recovery, and reported greater gains in recovery capital across their recovery journeys. Similar associations are found for participants who have dependent children living with them. There is also some indication that this association is stronger for female than for male participants. Finally, having more people that one can rely on and a greater proportion of people in recovery in the social network are both linked to greater recovery capital and greater self-reported growth in recovery capital. We conclude that this study provides further evidence in favour of a “social cure” in recovery, in which close familial ties are associated with stronger recovery resources.
- social relations
- Substance Use Disorder