For many people, alcohol and cigarettes often go hand in hand. Some people who do not regularly smoke cigarettes will concede to doing so when they are drinking. The correlation between alcohol and nicotine may be more important than you think when it comes to addiction recovery.
Recovering from any addictive substance is challenging, anything one can do to make the experience less trying is recommended. Those in recovery usually give up cigarettes last, but it turns out that alcoholics who quit smoking when they stop drinking may find a greater chance at success.
New research suggests that smokers with a history of alcohol abuse are at an increased risk of relapse three years later if they continue smoking, Science Daily reports. The study was conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York.
The findings come from a sample of 34,653 adults with a past alcohol use disorder. The researchers found, when compared to nonsmokers, daily smokers and nondaily smokers had about double the odds of relapsing to alcohol, according to the article.
Across the country, many substance use disorder treatment facilities do not require patients to give up cigarettes. Although, most will encourage smoking cessation, offering access to a number of current therapies. Some treatment centers believe that quitting drinking and smoking at the same time is too difficult. While that mindset may have some merit, in the long run quitting both at the same time may be more fruitful.
“Quitting smoking will improve anyone’s health,” says Goodwin, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. “But our study shows that giving up cigarettes is even more important for adults in recovery from alcohol since it will help them stay sober.”
The findings held even when factoring in:
- Illicit Drug Use
- Nicotine Dependence
The findings appear in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. __________________________________________________________________________________
If you are or a loved one is struggling with alcohol, please contact Harmony Foundation to begin the journey of recovery. Harmony is a state-of-the-art, affordable, residential addiction treatment program located in the Rocky Mountains.
Addiction and recovery news provided by Harmony Foundation.