An underlying theme of addiction recovery is improving your health. Drugs and alcohol can take a major toll both physically and mentally. In treatment at an Orange County drug and alcohol rehab facility, you learn strategies for sobriety and creating healthier routines. Although people don’t go to rehab for the sole purpose of quitting smoking cigarettes, it can be a good time to stop.

Smoking is another form of addiction and can be detrimental to your health. In recovery you work so hard to turn your life around and embrace better choices, so why not give up smoking as well? Our nation is becoming increasingly anti-smoking with restaurants, hotels, and other facilities banning it. In some states, it is becoming illegal to smoke with minors in the car. It just seems to make sense that while you are putting in the effort to overcome addiction, smoking could be included too.

According to Forbes, 84 percent of those in drug and alcohol treatment programs smoke while only about 31 percent of the general public does. For many, smoking and drinking go hand-in-hand. Or they use smoking as another way of self-medicating and coping with mounting stress. But in recovery they are already learning other ways of managing stress and personal challenges, so this could apply to quitting smoking.

When is the right time?

Some people feel that clients should wait until after their first year of recovery to attempt to quit smoking, while others believe that during treatment is a good a time as any. There are concerns that trying to make too many changes at once could threaten sobriety and increase risk of relapse or quitting treatment. But for some, they would rather do it all at once and quitting smoking serves as further motivation for their recovery and change in lifestyle.

In treatment – and especially detox – you are carefully monitored by healthcare professionals. They can assist you in overcoming nicotine withdrawal and taking steps to safely quit. They can talk you through the process and provide support along the way. Quitting smoking can also enhance the body’s ability to heal itself since it is not simultaneously being damaged by nicotine and other toxins in cigarettes. However it is up to each person to decide what is right for them and whether they are ready to quit smoking now or later. You know what you are able to handle, but don’t forget that you will be surrounded by support in rehab.

The Dangers of Smoking

Some may argue that smoking is not as dangerous as other drug or alcohol addiction, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with its share of risks. Smoking increases your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory problems, and problems during pregnancy. It can also put you at greater risk of suffering from a stroke or heart attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 480,000 people die in the United States each year from cigarette smoking.

Although lung cancer is what people most commonly associate with smoking, it can actually contribute to cancer almost anywhere in the body including the larynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, kidney, liver, and bladder. Smoking can also complicate other health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and pregnancy.

However by quitting, you can decrease some of these risks. The body begins to heal itself and cancer risk is reduced. Lung and heart function improve and you have more energy and endurance. This can certainly support addiction recovery efforts.

Tips for Quitting Smoking in Recovery

Many of the same strategies used for overcoming drug and alcohol use and promoting sobriety can also be applied to quitting smoking. For instance:

  • Try to avoid spending time around others who are smoking, or ask them if they could please not smoke in your presence. This is the same as you’d do for drinking. Friends and family are supportive of not drinking around you, so they could do the same with smoking.
  • Push through cravings. Just as you will experience drug cravings, you will experience nicotine cravings as well. But remember that they will pass and you can maintain control. Distract yourself with other activities or take a few minutes to meditate and clear your mind.
  • Write down goals. What are your reasons for quitting smoking? How has it changed your life? When you are feeling down or facing temptation, go back and read these positives for a quick boost and renewed motivation.
  • Calculate savings. In time you will begin to see how much money you have saved by not buying cigarettes (or drugs or alcohol) and can put these funds toward more important things. Put a little bit away to save up for something you really want as a reward.

Quitting smoking can be challenging, but so is overcoming drug or alcohol addiction. Keep reminding yourself that you can do it and reflect on how far you have come and where you want to be in the future. Smoking can cut years from your life that you could otherwise be spending in much better ways.

Regain control of your life and health by entering an Orange County drug and alcohol rehab program today. It’s not too late to turn things around and make the most of your future. Chapters Capistrano is here to support you along each step of the way with on-site detox, flexible approaches to treatment, relapse prevention planning, and more. Start a new chapter today by contacting Chapters Capistrano at 949-276-2886.

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