Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Smoking and Recovery

Columbia University recently published a study saying that adults who grew up around second hand smoke have lungs that look different than those with non-smoking households. Actually, the lungs have holes that look similar to the ones of people who suffer from emphysema. Is this shocking? Not really. We've been hearing about the detriments of smoking for years. And yet we see smokers day in and day out, huddled in small masses near heaters during winter and shunned to the street corners during summer. Now, don't get me wrong- I was a heavy smoker until this past year, despite the consequences. And I also believe in the freedom of choice- that individuals should be able to decide their own fate. However, tobacco kills about 438,000 people per year, according to the Virginia Department of Health. So my question is this: why do we allow smoking in addiction treatment centers?

In 2008, New York State banned smoking in their all public and private treatment programs. Their government-funded programs have been smoke-free since 1998. So why aren't other programs dealing with this? I know that in my experience, I smoked MUCH more in treatment than I did before- the only fix I had left! But for most of the people in an addiction treatment program, this was the only time they would take 30 days out of their lives to work on their addictions. Why not push for anti-smoking as well? If someone is going to deal with difficult withdrawals, why not deal with them in an ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTER???

I don't have a solution for this, nor am I completely pushing for the change. I'm just wondering what the therapeutic value of smoking has in the treatment world. Looking forward to your feedback.

Here's a TheTruth.com anti-smoking ad:

Here's a video on the facts of smoking.

Here's something funny.

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  1. I decided to quit smoking 3 weeks into a 4 week inpatient treatment program. My rationale was that I would have a really difficult time quitting once I was out. I decided to run around the block during our breaks instead of sitting around in a smoke infested break room. Mind you, this was Minnesota in January! Upon the return from my little run, I felt as if I smoked a whole pack of menthols.

    It's been said that it is most wise to focus first on the addictions that are killing you the quickest and working on the others in due time.

    I don't have an answer to the smoking issue. All that I know is that I feel a hell of a lot better when I'm exercising and living a healthy lifestyle.

    Also, I remember hearing a rumor that people who smoke have a higher tendency to relapse? Any truth to this?

  2. Quitting smoking is the MOST important decision you'll ever make in your life, for you and your loved ones. It is better to start Now, because the longer you stay on it, the more damage it will do to your body.