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Misuse of Alcohol During Opiate Substitution Treatment

Rengade, Charles-Edouard MD*; Schwan, Raymund PhD, MD† ‡ §∥ †

Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment: September 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 3 - p 99-105
doi: 10.1097/ADT.0b013e3181dee7ed
Original Articles

Context Although alcohol misuse is a common phenomenon during opiate substitution treatment, the etiologic explanations advanced for it are generally no more than speculative.

Objectives To identify differences in alexithymia, self-esteem, and temperament among patients undergoing methadone or buprenorphine substitution treatment having excessive alcohol consumption from those who have not.

Design This was an open prospective study conducted from September 2007 to January 2008.

Setting The cohort was recruited from 9 drug addiction treatment centers in 2 regions of France, Alsace and Moselle.

Participants The study was based on 203 patients on opiate substitution programs whose dosage had been stable for at least 1 month and who had given their consent to take part.

Main Measurement Tools The participants completed a series of self-administered questionnaires in the treatment centers: Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Coopersmith's Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R).

Results We observed high alexithymia scores, low self-esteem scores, and low self-directedness scores among patients with excessive alcohol consumption.

Conclusions We make some recommendations for new therapeutic approaches.

*CH Le Vinatier, Service du Pr. JL Terra, Bron Cedex

Department of Psychiatry, CHU Nancy, Pôle des Spécialités Médicales 1, Hôpital Jeanne d'Arc, Toul Cedex


§European Drug Developpement Hub (EDDH)

University Nancy 1, Nancy, France

Reprints: Charles-Edouard Rengade, MD, CH Le Vinatier, Service du Pr. JL Terra, 95 Boulevard Pinel, 69677 Bron Cedex, France (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.