Should I Quit Smoking Cigarettes in Rehab?

Rehab can be a life changing gift. A life ravaged by drugs and alcohol can lead us to very dark places. When withdrawals are over and the fog starts to clear you may feel better than you ever have. As a result of facing the wreckage of your past, you may feel lower than you ever have. Whether you are on cloud 9 or struggling, you may be wondering if now it the right time to quit smoking.

One could argue this is the perfect time. You are already overwhelmed by withdrawals, crying sprees, and huge life changes. Why not just rip the band aid off and deal with all the addictions at once. There is a logical piece to that argument.

On the flip side there are many arguments to postpone putting down the cigarettes. The first is that smoking is less dangerous than drugs. Better to smoke that drink or do drugs is something you’ll hear often. Another is that trying to quit two things at once will hurt your chances of getting sober. Another argument is that you are unlikely to be successful.

While these arguments were widely used and argued as truth, many studies are disputing these common beliefs. There have been studies that suggest there are many benefits to treating tobacco addiction in tandem with substance abuse addiction. More and more rehab centers are making anti-smoking support services available.

There is now evidence to support smoking cessation paired with substance abuse treatment to be beneficial. Here are some key points from recent research regarding cigarette smoking by substance abusers:

·        Over 50% of deaths among patients in treatment for substance abuse were actually related to tobacco while only 33% were due to drugs or alcohol.

·        A longitudinal study of opiate addicts shows the death rate amongst those who smoked to be 4 times greater than the non-smokers in the group

·        Alcohol and drugs stimulate overlapping pathways in the brain to nicotine.

Data also indicates an increased likelihood of abstinence for substance abusers that quit smoking in their first year of recovery. While the old theories said you are more likely to stay clean and sober if you keep smoking, research has shown the opposite is true. Dealing with your smoking addiction treatment increases your chances of recovery in addition to the health benefits of smoking cessation. Ultimately, the choice is up to you.


Castle Craig strives to have every patient gain optimum health in mind, body, and spirit. Our treatment programs include smoking cessation classes in addition to a wide range of therapies designed to create change. Call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line for more information: 0808 256 3731. From outside the UK please call: +44 808 271 7500

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