Introducing the Tobacco Recovery Resource Exchange

Treating tobacco dependence should be the priority of every addiction professional Part of the reason is because it is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in our patients that we're going to see

We're going to see them die more frequently from tobacco-related illnesses than any other addiction-related illnesses We often are concerned about their ongoing recovery from other chemical dependencies We're concerned that we're going to somehow interfere with that recovery by tackling tobacco dependence in addition to other chemical dependencies What we're finding is more and more frequently that actually addressing tobacco dependence, in addition to other chemical dependencies, provides an increased recovery and decreased relapse rates for all chemical dependencies There is very strong evidence that nicotine is a cue-a physiological cue-to use alcohol and illicit drugs

So, it makes sense that when you break that link between the nicotine and the alcohol and the illicit drugs, that you'd have more success in staying off the illicit drugs and alcohol-and, in fact, that's what the studies imply I went away upstate twelve years ago It was incorporated with the program I was in-the no smoking So I incorporated "no smoking" with my recovery, and it definitely-it does work, because I'm living proof My experience with these clients is that they want to know why nobody has ever asked them about this problem- 'I've been in substance abuse treatment year after year, I've been forced into abstinence in an inpatient setting, I had to become abstinent when I was in jail, and I've really wanted to try and quit, and nobody's actually asked me about this problem

' So, we have a window of opportunity, we have a clientele that's interested in quitting, we have evidence for methods that do work A lot of the things we were afraid about, which actually were barriers to us saying 'let's go for it, let's treat tobacco dependence' we're finding that the literature is showing us that a lot of that isn't true Most of it's not true, and that we need to just get started

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