Dec 20, 2022
Journal of psychoactive drugs
Long-term recovery from substance use disorders has been described as a process of identity construction, through which the stigma of being a substance user is replaced by a new identity of a non-user. Identity construction has been widely acknowledged as a significant factor in different pathways of substance use cessation, such as self-change and treatment-change. However, almost no articles have discussed the role of identity construction in desistance and recovery among both self-changers and treatment-change. The aim of this narrative review was to explore this subject in the two groups. Based on the recovery capital approach and the social identity model of recovery, I posited that self-changers and treatment-changers undergo different processes of identity construction. Moreover, the prospects for successful identity construction depend upon personal and social resources (recovery capital) that provide identity-building materials such as relationships, attitudes, and role models. This article contributes to the field by presenting the different identity constructions in the process of long-term recovery from SUDs.