Mitigating the Risk of Addiction Relapse
Even though nicotine is highly addictive, few people go to addiction treatment for the drug. Yet, many of the people who seek treatment for drugs and/or alcohol also smoke cigarettes. A significant number of which will still be smoking at the time of discharge. Some who go to treatment will decide to tackle every mind-altering substance to which they are addicted. Others will just focus on the ones that are making their life unmanageable. It is worth noting that in 2015, the overall rate of smoking among people in treatment for drug and alcohol use was 84 percent.
Have you successfully completed an addiction treatment program, are still smoking and working a program? If so, you may be saying to yourself, ‘so what?’ Well, the fact that you are still smoking could impact your mission to achieve long-term recovery. Research published earlier this year showed that smokers working a program of recovery have an increased risk of relapse, according to a Boston University (BU) press release. Researchers at BU: School of Public Health found that smokers have twice the odds of substance use disorder (SUD) relapse.
“To our knowledge, no prior study has shown that cigarette smoking—both continued smoking and new-onset smoking—is associated with an increase in the likelihood of relapse to SUD among adults with past SUDs,” the authors said. “The treatment of SUDs is extremely challenging, and even if not smoking is just modestly associated with improvements in sustained abstinence, this association may be useful in treatment programs.”