It is a commonly accepted norm among rehabilitation professionals that smoking is less detrimental and dangerous to one’s health than substance abuse addiction and therefore it is often not deemed a priority during treatment. However recent studies are beginning to paint a clear picture of the danger smoking presents to addicts and the recovery process.
It is estimated that as many as 97% of patients in treatment programs for substance use disorder also use tobacco. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that many treatment programs often inadvertently create environments that encourage non-smokers to undertake the habit. One study indicated as much as 15%.
There are 3 main beliefs used to justify not combining anti-smoking efforts with drug and alcohol treatment:
- Smokers in treatment are not able to successfully quit, so anti-smoking therapies are a waste of resources and effort.
- Smoking poses less of a danger to people in recovery than other drugs.
- Trying to quit smoking and other drugs at the same time will be too difficult and will hurt patients’ chances of successfully getting sober.
Further studies show that up to 80% of people who enter addiction recovery programs would also like to quit smoking with the majority hoping to quit within 6 months of entering the program. This shows that there is a will to quit, however statistics show that less than 5% are actually successful in quitting. This is important because even small numbers of successful quitters will produce large major health benefits. This is supported by the following statistics:
- approximately 50% of deaths among patients in treatment programs were related to tobacco use, while only 33% were due to drugs or alcohol.
- A 24-year study of more than 400 people in treatment for opiate addiction found that the death rate among those who smoked was greater than 4 times higher than those who did not.
- In general, patients who struggle with alcoholism and who smoke score lower in measures of mental and physical health than alcoholics who do not smoke.
Given what we know today about the dangers of tobacco use, it is not surprising that smoking is responsible for many health problems found among substance use abusers. What is surprising, perhaps, is the extent of harm that it causes. Given the statistics, one can see how offering anti-smoking therapies to patients in recovery could save many lives.
At Ibiza Calm, we have an expert team of highly professionals available at all times for any number of addictions you or a loved one may be suffering with, so please do not hesitate to call us if you need any help or advice.
(SPAIN) +34 664 443 433
(UK) +44 203 868 5710