John Lehman, FARR President

In May 2016, Sheffield Hallam University and the Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR) launched a research study engaging six hundred and thirty residents of eight certified programs to pilot an assessment and recovery planning instrument known as REC CAP. The tool employs evidence-based practices to quantify personal and social capital, recovery group involvement, overall well-being, motivation and social support, as well as potential barriers to resiliency and unmet service needs. Evaluation
of assessment results prepares trained navigators to guide residents in establishing concrete, measurable recovery goals. Appropriate for delivery in both clinical and peer environments, REC CAP is owned by participants, traversing their individual continuum. Quarterly assessments mark recovery progress providing longitudinal outcome measurements based on recovery capital as opposed to deficit abatement. The REC CAP system allows residents to readily share continued visibility of their recovery progress with past service providers, family members and other supports through documented release.

One over-arching goal of REC CAP is to bridge the gap between specialty addiction treatment and self-directed recovery. Persons exiting treatment often experience diminishing commitment resulting from exposure to the rigorous demands of community life. Though they may remain highly motivated, these persons lack requisite recovery management skills, a well-established recovery support network and sufficient self-confidence to sustain resiliency. They frequently become overwhelmed by an onslaught of challenges, perceived as insurmountable, and seek to relieve anxiety through a return to active substance misuse. In large measure, the acknowledgement of this paradigm, is evidence by SAMHSA funding for development of a more comprehensive recovery service and support infrastructure at the community level, including the expansion of a credentialed peer specialist and certified recovery coach workforce.

REC CAP presents an evidenced-based assessment tool that informs and facilitates mentorship, by both clinical and peer navigators, of individuals engaged in execution of a formal recovery plan. The REC CAP Pilot Study team recently posited in an article published by Addiction Professional Magazine, “This approach utilizes a strengths-based perspective that can be implemented before, during and after specialty treatment. We have embedded both recovery strength measures into a single scale that can be administered by clinicians, peer mentors or people in recovery to create a simple visualization of recovery stage and needs.”

NARR Quality Standards suggest that recovery residences encourage residents to own their recovery as evidenced by policies and procedures that support residents to develop and participate in their own personalized recovery plan. FARR sponsored the REC CAP Pilot Study with Dr. David Best and his team from Sheffield Hallam University so that we might determine the efficacy of delivering the instrument in a residential peer environment while participants are actively engaged in the rigors of community life. Early analysis of pilot study data suggests that REC CAP presents an evidence-based practice through which certified programs might fulfill their primary function to provision recovery support. Publication of case studies and other research findings will complete the final stages of the pilot in early 2017. Moving forward, we anticipate a continuation of our partnership with Sheffield Hallam University to establish norms based on certain demographic criteria as well as distinct phases of community integration. Please visit the dedicated page on the FARR website at www.farronline/recovery-outcomes to learn more about this important research