According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 44.3% of all cigarettes smoked are by individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders; previous studies have shown that individuals with mental illness are 70% more likely to smoke cigarettes than the general population. Each year, smoking kills about 200,000 people living with a mental illness. If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or substance use disorder, do you smoke? Why do you do it? Many people pick up smoking when they’re younger due to peer pressure or stress and continue smoking throughout their lives to cope with negative emotions.
Relapse, in both the context of addiction and mental illness, occurs when a person regresses back to old patterns of behavior; this could be something as small as taking one dose of a drug they used to abuse, or engaging in self-harm, something a person did before they sought treatment to help them cope with their mental disorder. Many people in recovery aim to avoid relapsing because, for many, it is a sign of failure or weakness. Relapse should be viewed as a learning opportunity rather than a failure, but there are many factors that can increase or decrease someone’s risk for relapse.
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry sought to explore the relationship between smoking and long-term outcomes for individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD). Five thousand, five hundred and fifteen participants competed a survey pertaining to demographics, psychiatric and alcohol use disorders, nicotine dependence and SUD severity. The results from the study indicated that continued smoking and smoking initiated by those with a SUD were more likely to relapse than those who did not smoke. If you believe that you will be unable to stop smoking, however, think again.
Research also shows that despite common myths, people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can stop smoking without impairing their mental health recovery. What about those with addictions? The possibility is open for them, too. Cessation of smoking within the confines of a residential treatment program is a great option because individuals will already be in an environment where they can feel immediate support despite their withdrawal symptoms.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.