An estimated 80 percent of alcoholics and those who abuse alcohol chronically smoke cigarettes, and most people in this number are addicted to nicotine. Though nicotine addiction is deadly, treatment for smoking cessation is not usually included in an alcohol rehabilitation program.
Why not? It’s certainly as deadly as drinking. Isn’t it as important to stop smoking as it is to stop drinking?
Myths About Smoking and Alcohol
There are a number of myths circulating about the connection between smoking and alcohol abuse and whether or not it is advisable to attempt to treat both issues at the same time. Some say that trying to quit smoking will decrease the likelihood of success in recovery from addiction. Others say that smoking is not as deadly as alcohol addiction and therefore doesn’t require immediate attention.
Still others say that patients in recovery don’t want to quit smoking, and it may end up stopping them from seeking the help they need to overcome alcoholism if the two programs were intertwined.
The Truth About Smoking
The fact is that all those myths are wrong. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), an estimated 80 percent of alcoholics in treatment who are also smokers would like to quit smoking.
Additionally, the NIAAA reported that smoking is just as dangerous as alcohol abuse. Mortality rates show that more alcoholics die of smoking-related diseases than alcohol-related disorders. Also, there is no evidence to support the idea that it is more difficult to beat alcoholism in recovery when smoking cessation treatment is part of the program.
A Clean Slate
When struggling with both a nicotine addiction (e.g., cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, etc.) and an alcohol use disorder (e.g., alcoholism, alcohol abuse, or binge drinking) it is possible to overcome both – at the same time – and come out of rehab with a clean slate. Leaving behind addiction to every substance means:
- Increased energy
- Improved immune system, which translates into better health
- Improved ability to manage symptoms of chronic health disorders
- Improved mood
- Increased ability to manage co-occurring mental health symptoms, if necessary
- Improved finances
- Improved employability
Everything about your life gets better when you are free from addiction, and managing life in recovery becomes easier as well. Finding positive ways to relax and lower stress that don’t include substance use or abuse of any kind will be the ticket to long-term recovery and stability. Contact us at Alta Mira today and speak with us about our addiction treatment programs and how we can help you start fresh.