Cigarette smoking and substance abuse often go hand in hand. While a majority of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol also smoke cigarettes, there are varying opinions about continuing to smoke in recovery.
In the past, the thinking was that giving up the hard stuff was a good enough start, leaving kicking the nicotine habit for a later date. However, it turns out that there are several excellent reasons to quit smoking in rehab.
1. Smoking is unhealthy. The statistics do not lie. According to the CDC, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disability, disease, and death in the U.S., accounting for more than 480,000 premature deaths annually. Cigarettes contain over 19 carcinogenic substances as well as the addictive substance nicotine.
If you continue to smoke, you risk a long list of serious and potentially fatal health conditions. These include various types of cancer, heart disease, asthma, COPD, gum disease, diabetes, and vision loss.
2. It is expensive. Granted, you probably spent a small fortune on drugs or alcohol, but most people fail to realize how much they also spend on cigarettes. The average person who smokes just a pack a day will spend over $1,500 each year on cigarettes. Save yourself some cash and quit!
3. Smoking can trigger drug cravings. The powerful thoughts about past drug or alcohol use can be triggered by familiar people, places, and things. One of the "things" that many associate with drugs and alcohol is smoking cigarettes. This is a trigger for relapse that you can eliminate if you quit smoking during rehab.
4. Enjoy peace of mind. Nicotine is one of the most powerful addictions on this planet. When you need a cigarette and are unable to get one, you likely become anxious and irritable. You might even feel dizzy or get a headache. Once you are free of this addiction, you will enjoy a more stable mood, better sleep, and greater overall peace of mind.
5. Increase your chances for success. You can actually increase your chances for success in recovery if you quit smoking. This is supported by research. A 2017 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that people who do not smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to be successful in recovering from drug abuse.
6. You will have help. If you think about it, the perfect time to quit smoking is while you are in rehab. You will be surrounded by social and medical professionals who can give you the extra support you need. Nicotine is a drug, and you are in rehab to overcome addiction. Make the most of it.
Just as with abstinence from drugs and alcohol, it is difficult to stop smoking without support. When you enter drug rehab for a substance use disorder, it makes sense to take advantage of every resource available to also address your nicotine addiction.
At The Recovery Village, we provide comprehensive and holistic treatment services that will allow you to simultaneously confront all of these issues while building healthier habits for your new life in recovery. Contact us now to discuss your admissions options.