How Nicotine Can Hurt Your Recovery

It is not uncommon for addicts to engage in other harmful and less healthful behaviors outside of drugs and alcohol, like smoking cigarettes. Not only are cigarettes, by themselves, not a healthy coping mechanism or habit, but they can also pose a risk to your recovery. According to one study, there is a strong link between smoking and alcoholism. In specific, the use of cigarettes may be a serious detriment to alcoholics working towards sobriety.

Smokers are Common in Recovery

According to numbers from the CDC, 15.5% of adults throughout the country smoke. Of these smokers, a large majority, over 76% do so daily. For those individuals battling addiction, a study that looked at members of Alcoholics Anonymous in Nashville, Tennessee showed that this group had over 56% of its group actively smoking daily.

Cigarette Smoking and Relapse

According to a study by the Journal of Clinical Psychology, cigarette smoking has a strong association with relapse of substance abuse. Researchers found that those who left a rehabilitation program and remained smoking up to three years after leaving had a 1.5 times greater risk of regression. This was compared to those who left rehab and quit smoking.

Interestingly enough, for individuals who did not smoke before entering a program but started after, the risks of a regression increased dramatically by five times. Every cigarette an individual in recovery smoked each day had an impact on increasing their risk of relapse.

Why Smoking Shows an Increase with Relapse

Many alcoholics or drug addicts tend to have been smokers while they were using. The two poor health habits went hand in hand. This means that a psychological link was made between the two activities, so when one is taken away, the other triggers memories and cravings for what is missing. 

Additionally, studies are currently assessing nicotine exposure as tied to cravings and urge to want opioids and stimulants. Either way, the studies are becoming more clear that nicotine is not only unhealthy by itself, but it is also may be highly risky and detrimental to long-term recovery efforts. Therefore, the conclusion may be that in addition to treatment for substance abuse, a smoking cessation effort is also be helpful during treatment and provides patients with substantial benefits overall.

Finding an In-Patient Recovery Center

Alternative medical detox centers and opiate addiction treatment centers, like Discovery Place in Tennessee, offer very stable and supportive surroundings to help you cope with both the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal in the most comfortable way. Our beautiful facility is located in the serene countryside of Burns, Tennessee.

We are a nonprofit organization that does not have commissioned staff. Many of our team members are graduates from our program and so they offer a unique perspective and understanding to all individuals who come to begin their journey to recovery with us. To learn more about our programs, call us today at 1-800-725-0922. We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Together, we can help you through a successful recovery.

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