Opioid addiction research mostly focuses on the prevention, development, and consequences of this disorder, without concentrating on individuals who have recovered from their addiction and how they attained their recovery. A research study focusing on those who achieved long-term recovery found that those who succeeded utilized multiple resources to maintain sobriety. The researchers used data from the National Recovery Survey conducted in 2017 that consisted of a sample of adults aged 18 and older, and who specified whether they had a drug or alcohol problem. The research suggests that roughly 1.2 million American adults have recovered from an opioid use disorder.
Recovery from opioid use disorder is more challenging than recovery from alcohol addiction. It can, therefore, require more intense psychological, medical, and social support services for more extended periods. The first year of recovery is known as the early recovery period, and years 1 to 5 of recovery is known as the mid-recovery period. The research found that those who recovered from an opioid problem in mid-recovery were 2.5 times as likely to use formal addiction treatment and four times as likely to utilize drugs that prevent cravings and relapse, then those who recovered from an alcohol problem. Since these differences did not occur in the early recovery period, it illuminates the fact that those with opioid addiction may require additional treatment and resources to achieve a longer and more stable recovery. Levels of self-esteem also fluctuated between the two groups, with the opioid group reporting higher levels of self-esteem in early recovery, but lower levels of self-esteem in mid-recovery than the alcohol group. These differences point to the extra challenges that those in opioid recovery face, including the longer durations and greater uses of treatment and recovery services, as well as more frequent relapses.
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Researching methods that work in aiding recovery from opioid use disorder can lead to enacting policies, updating clinical approaches, and creating other treatment modalities to battle this crisis. People with opioid use disorder tend to face more social stigma or disapproval from society, have fewer resources available to them than other drug or alcohol addictions, and, therefore, may more likely to conceal their addiction and recovery status. This concealment can lead to loneliness and isolation, which does not aid in long-lasting recovery. At Fort Worth Recovery, we understand the multifaceted challenges that come with addiction and offer a safe, nurturing environment to begin the road to lifelong recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807 or visit us online.