Can You Smoke Cigarettes In Recovery?

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If you watch a group of people in recovery for any length of time, you might get the idea that everyone seems to be a smoker. Smoking cigarettes and recovery often go hand in hand, since people tend to be hesitant to give up this last vice that seems to help them get through tough times. While recovery programs don’t necessarily condone smoking, treatment teams tend to turn a blind eye to nicotine addiction provided that it isn’t harming someone’s general sobriety. Although some treatment centers have prohibited smoking on the premises, others create designated areas and times for people to go outside and have a cigarette. Since you’re wondering can you smoke cigarettes in recovery, it’s worth exploring why. Naturally, you’ll be better off if you don’t smoke while you get addiction treatment, and you’re better off not picking up the habit if you’re currently a non-smoker. But, no one will judge you for being a smoker when you are focusing on improving your health in addiction treatment.

Giving up doing drugs or drinking might already seem hard enough. Your cigarettes might be your last way to add a stimulant to your body that helps you to wake up or deal with other cravings. While your cigarettes might be like a security blanket, it is worth thinking about how it might be easier to quit now when you’re already dealing with withdrawal symptoms. You won’t be able to tell if your withdrawal symptoms are from the other drugs or the cigarettes, so it might not be as hard as you think to quit. You’re probably already well aware of how quitting smoking helps you to reduce your chances of long-term health problems such as cancer and heart disease. However, thinking about these immediate benefits of quitting smoking can help you to get inspired to ditch the cigarettes.

  • stop smelling like smoke
  • get more oxygen to your brain
  • free up more time for hobbies
  • feel a greater sense of self-control
  • save more money

Develop Healthy Coping Skills In Recovery

Many of the skills that you learn in addiction treatment can help you to quit smoking along with other negative habits. For example, you’ll spend time learning strategies that help you to relax without having to rely on the effects of chemicals. Deep breathing exercises are beneficial for smokers since they mimic some of the same behaviors that you engage in when you smoke cigarettes. Slowly breathing in and out helps to get the oxygen flowing to your brain while having the effect of slowing down your heart rate. As you breathe deeply, you’ll also have the benefit of feeling more relaxed rather than experiencing the stimulation that nicotine creates. You can even do deep breathing exercises for about the same time that it takes to have a cigarette.

Meditation practices are also common in drug rehab programs. You’ll work with a therapist to learn how to train your mind to focus on a single thought or even nothing at all. Meditating can also include visualization practices that help you set goals and let go of painful memories. Meditation can be combined with deep breathing to increase the effects, and this practice has been effective in helping people to heal from all types of addictions.

Even if you choose not to quit smoking in treatment, you’ll learn strategies for managing an addiction that can help you down the road. Your treatment consists of many opportunities to learn how to avoid giving in to your cravings for drugs and alcohol. Every time you refuse to drink or pick up drugs, you train your brain to handle future instances where you face temptation. After gaining the strength for quitting drugs or alcohol, many people find that it isn’t much of a leap to quit smoking later on. The choice is ultimately up to you, and you can rest assured that no one is going to force you to quit smoking cigarettes in recovery. Like other types of addiction, this choice has to be yours for you to be successful.

Do you have more questions about what you can do in recovery? Let us know by calling 833-680-0165, and we’ll help you find the answers.

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