Résumé : The present study aims to explore whether an impairment in emotional facial expressions (EFE) decoding is specific to alcoholism compared with opiate dependence. An EFE decoding test consisting of 16 photographs of EFE portraying happiness, anger, sadness and disgust was administered to five different groups of 30 subjects each: recently detoxified alcoholics (RA); opiate addicts under methadone maintenance treatment (OM); detoxified opiate addicts (OA); detoxified subjects with both alcohol and opiate dependence antecedents (DAO); and normal controls (NC). Repeated measures analysis of variance using a multivariate approach was conducted on EFE decoding accuracy scores with group as the between-subjects factor. Accuracy scores were significantly lower in RA and DAO than in OM and OA, which had significantly lower scores than NC. Low accuracy scores in RA and DAO confirm previous results indicating that alcoholism is associated with impaired EFE recognition. Results in OM and OA indicate that opiate dependence is also associated with an impaired EFE decoding but less than in alcoholism. Alcohol and opiate chronic consumption could both exercise a deleterious effect on EFE-decoding brain function, alcohol having the most severe impact. Alternatively, EFE-decoding problems could be present before the development of alcohol and opiate dependence, with an additional effect of chronic alcohol consumption on EFE decoding. In this context, EFE-decoding impairment could reflect a more general emotional intelligence deficit in addicted populations.