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  • David Best, Ph.D.

Beginning Cultivation

Welcome to the first in what will be a monthly series of briefing notes provided to the partners of ROI to update you on evidence, innovation and progress in our work. These briefing notes will keep you informed about what is going on, what is new and how we are building an evidence base around the REC-CAP system and translating that evidence base to practical action.

As this is the first in our series, we will start by introducing you to our team and who does what and then we will go on to informing you about our current activities and successes, and what we are currently working on.

David Best (President, Research Lead) is Professor of Addiction Recovery at Leeds Trinity University, Honorary Professor of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University and Adjunct Professor of Addiction Science at Monash University.

Jessica Casteel (Board member, Director of Operations)

John Lehman (Executive Director)


The REC-CAP is two things at once:

1. It is an evidence-based tool built over around 10 years from a number of tested tools to assess levels of personal, social and community capital and crucially to track changes in recovery capital over time. The tool is completed online using the ARMS platform and provides instant results in the form of a visualisation that allows immediate feedback to the person in recovery and a method of mapping change and growth over time.

2. It is a system for translating scores on the REC-CAP measure into a recovery care plan that will support and facilitate effective engagement in meaningful activities and community participation

Partnerships and achievements

We are absolutely delighted to note that there are already more than 20,000 completed REC-CAP forms in the ARMS system. This is an astonishing achievement and we owe a huge debt of thanks to several organisations for their contribution to this:

- The Virginia Association of Recovery Residences (VARR)

- Fellowship Living Facilities

- West Virginia Alliance of Recovery Residences (WVARR)

- Washington Alliance for Quality Recovery Residences (WQARR)

- Michigan Association of Recovery Residences (MARR)

- West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network

In addition to an extensive range of recovery residences across multiple states, we are also starting to work with Recovery Community Organisations (RCOs) in Michigan and have international partners in the UK and New Zealand.

Publications and research

The second briefing note which will be distributed in August 2022 will focus on our work with Fellowship Living, a recovery residence in Florida, who have shown strong commitment to the REC-CAP model since its inception in 2016.

The paper will also highlight the engagement of the international research community as the lead for this paper is a PhD student from the University of Stockholm in Sweden, Sofia Hard.

The next paper – which will also be the basis for a Briefing Note – will focus on our early research findings in partnership with the Virginia Association of Recovery Residences (VARR).

Finally, we now have a research advisory group consisting of a range of senior and more junior academics and we will highlight this group and its work in a future publication in this series.

We would like to thank you for your ongoing support and interest in our work and would be delighted to receive your feedback and thoughts on this publication.

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