"The research literature on substance abuse treatment has consistently reported evidence to support the view that the relationships people maintain with their families, friends and other social contacts are critical to understanding why people start to abuse drink and drugs, why they persist to the point of addiction, and how they respond to treatment designed to move them to abstinence.

"The most successful treatment programmes are those that recognise the role of social capital and develop interventions that provide support via self-help groups, peer support, and families. Effective recovery programmes need to address other elements of substance abusers’ social environments, including the need for stable accommodation, the capacity to manage financial affairs, and constructive activities that provide a positive alternative to relapse. While good cost-benefit analyses have yet to be done, the available evidence suggests that recovery programmes are likely to be cost-effective. Savings can be made by reducing demand for health care, enabling people to make a positive contribution to their communities.63"


Munton AG, Wedlock E and Gomersall A (2014). The role of social and human capital in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. HRB Drug and Alcohol Evidence Review 1. Dublin: Health Research Board.