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Should I Try To Quit Drinking And Smoking At The Same Time?

There are all kinds of self-help literature for quitting smoking. I read some more general self-help stuff; nothing specific to smoking. At the end of the day it can be helpful and motivating … but you really have to want to quit. When you stop smoking, don’t go hang out with the smokers at work or at social events.

When you get stressed, try some deep breathing, listening to relaxing music, or going for a walk to clear your head. If it feels like too much to cope with on your own, join a local support group or find a therapist to help you through it. That said, I used and still use a smoking cessation aid. Honestly, the nicotine gum made quitting smoking not so bad as long as I maintained my motivation for quitting.

Typically, the nicotine doses are gradually lowered as treatment progresses. The nicotine patch may not be a good choice for people with skin problems or allergies to adhesive tape. Also, some people experience the side effect of having vivid dreams when they wear the patch at night.

Here are some of the health benefits you’ll experience starting from 20 minutes after quitting. Here are some reasons people in our program have quit smoking. If so, check them off, and use the blank spaces to write in your own reasons. If a loved one slips or relapses, don’t make them feel guilty.

quitting smoking and drinking at the same time

In fact, alcohol use is one of the major causes of relapse in those who have previously quit smoking. All the hard work that has been put in during the quitting process can then so easily be put in jeopardy. A single rash decision can have long-term consequences which can then make your smoking cessation journey a whole lot harder. You can help reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking. It’s also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain cancers early. Over the 12-week study period, each participant received 2 milligrams of varenicline twice a day.

Being Free Of The Harmful Substance Sooner

Niaura RS, Rohsenow DJ, Binkoff JA, Monti PM, Pedraza M, Abrams DB. Relevance of cue reactivity to understanding alcohol and smoking relapse. Lyon RJ, Tong JE, Leigh G, Clare G. The influence of alcohol and tobacco on the components of choice reaction time. Bobo JK. Nicotine dependence and alcoholism epidemiology and treatment. Many professionals are reporting that your solid abstinence is stronger if you quit both at the same time. More and more studies and opinions are pointing to this position, even though it was ridiculed years ago.

quitting smoking and drinking at the same time

Waiting to be stress-free before you try to quit smoking may just be an excuse to avoid facing your nicotine addiction. You may be more addicted to nicotine than other smokers. However, very few people succeed the first time they try to quit smoking. Part of the problem may be that you tried to stop smoking on your own. You can get support from friends, family, stop-smoking support groups, nonprofit health organizations, and more. But remember that you, like all other people, will always be under some kind of stress. Waiting to be stress-free before trying to quit smoking may just be an excuse for not facing your nicotine addiction.

Quit Smoking

Talk about your decision to quit so people know they won’t be able to smoke when you’re in the car with them or taking a coffee break together. In your workplace, find non-smokers to have your breaks with or find other things to do, such as taking a walk. While some smokers successfully quit by going cold turkey, most people do better with a tailored plan to keep themselves on track. A good quit plan addresses both the short-term challenge of stopping smoking and the long-term challenge of preventing relapse.

While tobacco withdrawal can be unpleasant on both body and emotions, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. Severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms varies by how much you drink, for how long, and your condition of health. Drinking and smoking go hand in hand for some people, and quitting both at the same time can be difficult. Recovery should be about experiencing freedom, and quitting alcohol and tobacco together means a deeper sense of personal freedom and a commitment to living addiction-free.

  • It’s not a bad idea, but it does have it drawbacks.
  • You can get back on track by quitting smoking again.
  • Research suggests there are several different links or relationships between alcohol and cigarettes.
  • To detox from both alcohol and cigarettes, you should seek professional help and speak to the team of your rehab program about your desire to stop using both simultaneously.

But giving up any addiction is hard and requires you to make your own choice about what’s best for you and your loved ones. Ask family members and friends not to smoke around you. At first, it may help to stay away from other smokers. It’s as likely to kill you as any other addiction—maybe even more so. People who have been in treatment for alcohol problems are more likely to die from tobacco-related diseases than from alcohol-related problems. In fact, recovering alcoholics who smoke are more likely to get heart disease, lung disease, and cancers of the head, mouth, and throat. They also are likely to die earlier than people in the general public.

Medication And Therapy To Help You Quit

Your desire to smoke after meals may depend on whether you are alone, with other smokers, or with nonsmokers. If you used to smoke while drinking coffee or tea, tell people you have quit, so they won’t offer you a cigarette. You may have become used to smoking while driving—to relax in a traffic jam or to stay alert on a long drive. Like many smokers, you may like to light up when driving to and from work to relieve stress, stay alert, relax, or just pass the time.

Also try eating a bit slower and focus on enjoying your food. This can help you notice when you are getting full. If you are using the nicotine patch, try taking it off an hour before bedtime. Sometimes the nicotine in the patch can affect your sleep. Alcohol works on the same chemical receptors in the brain as nicotine, and it may enhance the pleasurable effects of smoking. Chantix blocks that receptor, which appears to blunt some of the physical effects of alcohol. “It did actually increase the negative effects of alcohol, which would counteract the pleasurable effects,” Childs says.

Should We Combine Smoking Cessation & Substance Use Disorder Treatments?

If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities. Remind yourself why you quit and how well you’ve done — or have someone in your support group, family, or friends do this for you.

Don’t drink alcohol or reduce the amount of alcohol use. Alcohol can cause more stress and make you feel worse. When you feel like smoking, ask them to help you focus on your reasons for quitting. You’ll be able to support each other as you try to quit together.

You can get therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis therapy … all designed to help you stop drinking, smoking or both. I never pursued this avenue, but I know ex-smokers for whom it worked. This treatment may help with quitting drinking as well.

The Multiple Pathways To Recovery

You’re not alone in battling two addictions at once. Over 80 percent of people with an alcohol addiction smoke, and smokers are three times more likely to be addicted to alcohol compared to non-smokers. Researchers have noted that people who are trying to quit smoking often relapse when they drink alcohol. Additionally, according to one study, it appears that the interaction between nicotine and alcohol might make it more difficult to quit either substance.

People in alcohol recovery often smoke more than smokers in the general public. This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.

The principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps can be helpful for those who desire to quit smoking as well as stay sober. As far as the difference between alcohol recovery and nicotine recovery for Maggie, she believes that nicotine had conditioned her brain in a far more powerful way than alcohol. She believes that she will have to maintain more vigilance over her smoking quit than her alcohol quit.

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