Overcoming Nicotine Addiction in Your Recovery

Overcoming Nicotine Addiction in Your Recovery


One of the big side issues in addiction recovery revolves around nicotine addiction and the possibility of quitting smoking.  There are a couple of key points here to consider.

1) Given the choice, most addicts (I would say at least 90 percent) do not wish to try to quit smoking during early recovery. I see continuous evidence of this at a treatment center, where almost everyone states that they “do not want to try to quit smoking right now,” given that they are entering detox.  Some state that they would like to quit smoking eventually….just not right now.  I see this over and over again.  Some statistics state that if you force addicts entering treatment to give up smoking, it improves outcomes all around.  I am not sure that I buy into that, based on what I have seen.  Plus, my own experience was that I continued to smoke in early recovery, and this seemed to work out pretty well for me.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Fancy Mandi

2) About half of those in long term sobriety seem to choose to try and quit at some point. Those who are past their first year or two of recovery seem to come to this decision naturally.  It is a direct result of making personal growth in recovery.  If you are genuinely making progress, then you are naturally going to want to take better care of yourself.  This is just a natural part of healthy self esteem, and it also is driven in part through a spiritual element.  If you are trying to be the best person you can, and to serve others, then you can do that better through good health and so on. So there is more motivation to quit smoking the longer the addict stays clean and sober.  Eventually, they realize that they are still using a drug (Nicotine) to self medicate with, and that they would be better off without it.

3) Overcoming an addiction to nicotine is part of an holistic approach to recovery. If you are really trying to make strong personal growth, then you have to consider the whole person when it comes to recovery.  This includes things like physical fitness, nutrition, and so on.  Quitting smoking is a natural part of this, in the sense that you want to be as healthy as possible in order to be living your best life.

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4) Higher consciousness due to spiritual growth will eventually push the habit of smoking away from you. You will eventually realize in recovery that you do not need, nor want, cigarettes.

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