The rate of people who smoke cigarettes among recovering alcohol addicts is three times higher than the national American average. Research shows that recovering alcoholics are at a far greater risk of negative health from smoking than other smokers too.
People who suffer from mental health issues and/or substance addiction account for 40% of all the cigarettes sold in the US.
Why are Alcoholics Who Smoke More at Risk?
Because of the damage from chronic drinking within the body of an alcoholic, or even a recovering alcoholic, when they smoke, they are not as well equipped to cope with the health problems. This is true particularly for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Research even shows that alcohol addicts who smoke, are more likely to die from the effects of smoking than they are from alcohol-related problems.
Will I be more Likely to fail in Recovery if I quit Smoking too?
This is a myth, quitting smoking will not threaten your sobriety. Some rehab treatment centres do not require you to quit smoking alongside quitting alcohol, but this could be down to being smokers themselves, and that it is not 100% necessary. Many believe that you should “tackle one addiction at a time”, but the truth is, that quitting smoking immediately is the best solution.
Scientific research even backs up that you should quit smoking at the same time. It has been found that nicotine can increase our cravings for an alcoholic drink – especially for those who are used to them going hand in hand. Continuing to smoke during recovery can increase the likelihood of relapse.
How Can I Quit Smoking as a Recovering Alcoholic?
Most alcoholics, either in recovery or not, will know that they need to quit, but don’t want to face the additional challenges. They might also fail when they attempt to quit, due to trying to do it alone.
When quitting smoking, people in recovery should consider the tools they learnt when overcoming their alcohol addiction. Giving up smoking is hard, so help from medical treatment, counselling, and support groups can also be utilised.
The key to quitting smoking successfully also lies in mentally preparing yourself to quit. If you first understand the difficulties you may face when you try, you will be better equipped to overcome them.
Thousands of people in the world quit smoking each year, leaving behind tar and nicotine and letting the healing process begin. Make that next person be yourself!