All three of these were in my inbox this morning from one list or another.
I don’t know anything about this guy, but I doubt he’s missing work because of his recovery. He may be missing work because of his addiction, or because of addiction treatment, or to get through a period of time with a high risk of relapse. That’s not missing work because of recovery.
Recovery is about a restoration of functioning in life domains like employment. People in recovery get better than well. This headline misses the point.
The limitations of “opioid recovery”
There’s actually nothing wrong with the article, though it’s doesn’t really say much about opioids or recovery. It does, however, illuminate some of the limitations of focusing on the particular drug in a drug crisis.
When we’re talking about people with opioid addictions (recognizing that not everyone with an opioid problem has an opioid addiction), we should focus on addiction recovery rather than opioid recovery.
Relapse is part of recovery?
Is a recurrence of cancer part of recovery from breast cancer? No.
Relapse is part of addiction. Relapse is not uncommon. Relapse does not have to spell doom (though the OD crisis makes it increasingly dangerous and scary). Relapse may teach us something that can help us stabilize and maintain recovery. Relapse should be met with support and compassion (rather than judgement and blame).
Relapse is not part of recovery.