Treatment tips

What is the BARC-10?

Find out how the BARC-10 assessment is used in SUD recovery. Understand its questions, score interpretation, and how it enhances self-reflection for treatment.

Ophelia team
BARC-10 assesment
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On the road to recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs), many different types of resources and approaches can aid patients. Many patients aren't aware of all the internal and external resources available to help them in their recovery, causing them to miss out on valuable opportunities. The BARC-10 assessment is a key tool designed to address that issue and provide insights into the resources a patient can draw upon during treatment.

What is the BARC-10 assessment?

The Brief Assessment of Recovery Capital (BARC-10) is a self-administered questionnaire to evaluate the tools and resources a patient has available to support their SUD recovery. The questionnaire includes 10 statements related to different types of recovery resources:

  1. There are more important things to me in life than using substances.
  2. In general, I am happy with my life.
  3. I have enough energy to complete the tasks I set myself.
  4. I am proud of the community I live in and feel part of it.
  5. I get lots of support from friends.
  6. I regard my life as challenging and fulfilling without the need for using drugs or alcohol.
  7. My living space has helped to drive my recovery journey.
  8. I take full responsibility for my actions.
  9. I am happy dealing with a range of professional people.
  10. I am making good progress on my recovery journey.

To complete the assessment, the patient scores each of these items from 0 to 6 to indicate how strongly they agree with the statement (with 0 for "Strongly Disagree" and 6 for "Strongly Agree"). Typically, completing the assessment takes less than 10 minutes. The sum of all the scores indicates how much recovery capital the patient has access to. A higher total score indicates greater recovery capital. 

What is “recovery capital”?

Recovery capital measures the internal and external resources a patient has available in their path to recovery. There are several dimensions of recovery capital, such as community resources, social support, physical and mental health, and coping skills. Even if someone has strong support in one of these areas, they may still have low overall recovery capital if the other dimensions are weak. Having experienced recent discrimination, for instance, is associated with a much lower BARC-10 score. 

Low recovery capital does not mean successful treatment is impossible or even improbable. Those with higher recovery capital may have an easier journey, but individuals with lower scores on the BARC-10 should not be discouraged. The BARC-10 is simply a tool to better understand a person's path to recovery. If, for example, a patient has strong support from friends and their community but is struggling with their mental health, the BARC-10 will make those strengths and weaknesses clear. The patient's care team can then use those insights to emphasize the patient's strengths and fill in some of the gaps where the patient needs additional support. 

Self-reflection in the treatment process

The professional treatment process for substance use disorders relies heavily on the observations made by medical providers and support workers. Often, the patient is not even the first to notice their behaviors or signs of opioid addiction and begin treatment. But for any patient to achieve lasting outcomes, they need to be actively and consciously involved in the process. That's why self-reflection tools like the BARC-10 are so useful. 

Completing the BARC-10 is something patients can do on their own from anywhere, including non-clinical settings. The assessment provides the framework for individuals to take a closer look at their lives and the tools they can rely on during their recovery journey. A patient can start with resources that answer questions like "what does opioid addiction look like?" to help identify their own addiction or drug dependency. Then, they can use tools like the BARC-10 to complete more self-reflection and to prepare for their recovery process. 

A patient-focused approach to treatment

Everyone dealing with substance use disorders is different and has different needs to achieve recovery. Ophelia uses a personalized approach to SUD treatment that treats each patient as the individual they are. Whatever strengths and weaknesses a person has across various aspects of recovery capital, Ophelia creates a personalized care plan to address them.


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