Alcohol Recovery vs Opioid Recovery, a Measures of Self Esteem

A recent article in the Journal of Addiction Medicine highlighted that people in recovery from Opioids have lower self esteem scores than those in Alcohol recovery.

What?

Why?

My first instinct was to explain that most people in recovery from opioids have simply received a Buprenorphine product to replace their need for opioids.

Alcoholics on the other hand have made a choice to stop drinking.

Look at the two arguments again. The Alcoholic who chose to stop drinking, did so by having an entire mental shift to choose not to drink, despite alcohol being readily available in most homes, every gas station, grocery store and corner liquor store.

The opioid addict did not make a mental shift, instead made a physiological shift. Their body are still getting a partial agonist opioid. Their mind did not have to make a radical change to prevent further use.

My collegue explained his reason for this.

“The Alcoholic has made many more publicly seen foolish decisions that they can now put behind them. They no longer act like a drunk. They act like a upstanding citizen. They reveal their confidence that was previously masked by their alcohol abuse. Alcohol use and overuse is much more socially acceptable. Opioid users tend to be vilified and judged more than others.”

What do you think?

Published by Dr Z

I'm a Doctor and trying to help others heal from the disease that I too struggle with, Addiction.

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