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Addiction, Mental Illness and Cigarettes

addictionBack in May you might remember an article we wrote about the dangers of smoking cigarettes in addiction recovery. Specifically having to do with the increased risk of relapse among smokers in recovery. In case you didn’t get a chance to read the post, we will give you a brief synopsis.

There is evidence suggesting that cigarette smokers in recovery are more likely to relapse on their “substance of choice.” Given that the goal of people in recovery is long-term abstinence, the findings are problematic, to say the least. If you regularly attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), you know that smoking is quite common. The last vestige of many people’s addictive past.

Those of you not in recovery, without a history of substance use disorder (SUD), may find that revelation odd. You might be thinking, ‘people are able to give up the heroin, but can’t kick the nicotine?’ Said people fought tooth and nail to be free of deadly substances, but are still holding on to cigarettes. Both addictive and deadly. Well, yes… It’s a common occurrence among people in recovery. Even with those who have undergone residential addiction treatment and are working a program of recovery day-in and day-out.

The Nature of Addiction

Regardless of which mind-altering substance, they are all addictive and extremely difficult stop using. Every case is different, but while every substance is hard to kick, some are more socially acceptable. Cigarettes are legal to use, and the toll they take on the human body is usually slower than “hard drugs.” People tend to have less of a sense of urgency when it comes to abstaining from tobacco. Even though it is killing you.

With that in mind, we would be remiss if we did not point out that smoking cessation is possible. Are you in recovery and still smoke, or started while in recovery (it happens more than you’d think)? If so, quitting can be extremely beneficial to both your physical and mental health. Finding healthier ways to cope with stress is always ideal. Considering that people in recovery are committed to living a healthy life and avoiding things that could lead to relapse.

Perhaps you would like another reason to prime your desire to quit. It turns out that the tobacco industry has long been targeting people with mental health disorders. If you are in recovery from addiction, that means you, too. They have also been targeting people in high stress environments, such as the military.

Praying Upon Addiction and Mental illness

MTV’s Music Awards are being held this coming Sunday. At which time viewers will see a series of advertisements about the tobacco industry’s nefarious ways of turning a profit. As smoking rates have continued to decline in recent decades, research suggests that “Big Tobacco” has targeted the vulnerable, The Washington Post reports. The ads point out that around 40 percent of cigarettes sold in the U.S. are to people with mental health issues. Such as depression, anxiety or substance-abuse problems. What’s more, 38 percent of people who smoke in the armed services started after enlisting. Please take a moment to watch the both informative and disturbing ads below.

“As the number of smokers drops, the industry is finding it harder and harder to find those replacement smokers,” said Robin Koval, chief executive of Truth Initiative. “So the industry is targeting people based on their challenges in life, on who they are. It’s shocking and appalling.”

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“The real truth is quitting actually helps their mental condition,” said Koval. “Those who are addicted and quit smoking when in recovery are less likely to relapse. Depression, anxiety, all those issues are helped when people try to quit.”

Addiction Treatment

At 10 Acre Ranch, we encourage all our clients to give up cigarettes while in treatment. We know how difficult it can be. Quitting all mind-altering substances at once can be a lot to handle. But, in the long run, it will be worth it for both health and recovery reasons. If you are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, including nicotine, please contact us today. We can provide a number of tools to help you be free of tobacco, while learning how to live a life in recovery.