Identifying and Unlocking Resources to Support Recovery

The Multidimensional Inventory of Recovery Capital (MIRC)

Recovering from addiction is a complex and dynamic process. To effectively help people reach their recovery goals, we must consider all of the factors within their life that could promote or deter their recovery.

Recovery capital captures the full spectrum of resources that impact an individual's recovery — from their family and friends, to their housing and finances, to their health and cultural traditions. 

The Multidimensional Inventory of Recovery Capital (MIRC) is a new reliable and valid measure of recovery capital — a powerful tool that can help clinicians and social workers better support clients in recovery. For researchers, the MIRC is a crucial step to advancing our understanding of how different sources of capital facilitate recovery.

Finally, for individuals in recovery, the MIRC can help you reflect on the resources you have to improve your well-being and sustain your recovery.

The MIRC was created by a multidisciplinary team of researchers — led by Elizabeth Bowen, PhD, associate professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work — with funding from the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Read more about the MIRC and their research.

Use the MIRC

To use the MIRC, download an accessible PDF at the link below, which includes instructions for how to score the measure. For best results, please open the measure in Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge. 

What does your score on the MIRC mean?

Total scores on the MIRC can range from 28 to 112, with lower scores indicating less recovery capital and higher scores indicating more recovery capital. Since this is a new measure, the researchers are still gathering data on how people score on it. In the study developing the MIRC, the average total score was 77.4, with a standard deviation of 13.1.

In addition to your total score, look at your score on the four subscales (social, physical, human and cultural capital), each of which can range from 7 to 28. 

Keep in mind: The MIRC is not an indicator of who will "succeed" in recovery. It is a way of looking at the resources you have to support your recovery (positive capital) and the things in your life that might make recovery more challenging (negative capital).

We suggest using your MIRC score to reflect on this balance: How can you continue to build on your strengths in terms of positive social, physical, human and cultural capital? How can you reduce your negative capital in each of these areas?

Frequently Asked Questions

Meet the Research Team

Principal Investigator

Co-Investigators and Co-Authors

Connect With Us

We would love to hear how you are using the MIRC for self-assessing your recovery capital, in research or in practice with people recovering from addiction. Complete the form below to share your feedback or ask questions about the MIRC.


Special Thanks

  • The research funders: This work was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under award number R21AA028099 and T32AA007583 to the University at Buffalo. (For more information about the grant, read this article.) The research, and the content of this website, are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH
  • The following recovery research experts, who reviewed and provided feedback on the initial list of items for the MIRC: Dr. Audrey Begun, Dr. Clara Bradizza, Dr. Susan Collins, Dr. Gerard Connors, Dr. Paul Gilbert, Dr. Emily Hennessy, Dr. Amy Krentzman, Dr. Paul Stasiewicz and Dr. Katie Witkiewitz
  • The University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Buffalo Research Registry, Dr. Bettina Hoeppner and the Recovery Research Institute, and the African American Federation of Recovery Organizations for their assistance with recruitment
  • Melissa Miller and the UB School of Social Work's Buffalo Center for Social Research for their administrative support
  • Most importantly, the study participants for sharing their stories, experiences and critical perspectives
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

How to Cite

University at Buffalo School of Social Work. (2023). Identifying and unlocking resources to support recovery: The Multidimensional Inventory of Recovery Capital (MIRC).

Published May 9, 2023