It should certainly interest those seeking the best North Carolina treatment for their young adult loved one to read that according to a new study, it does not look likely that substance use recovery is adversely affected by smoking cessation. Indeed, recovery from substance use disorders, as well as from mood and anxiety (M/AD) disorders, may even be helped by smoking cessation.
The recent findings should lessen concerns that urging patients to quit smoking might make it more difficult for them to recover when also participating in a substance abuse treatment program. Almost 5,000 daily smokers were asked to complete the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) in 2001-2002, as well as a follow-up interview three years later.
Their responses were examined by Dr. Patricia Cavazos-Rehg at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. The researchers discovered during the first interview that around 24 percent of the respondents had a current or past history of a drug use disorder (DUD), 50 percent of an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and 30 percent of an M/AD.
Quitters reported 69 percent fewer or recurrent DUDs at the follow-up than those who continued to smoke at or near their initial intensity, in addition to 36 percent fewer AUDs and 30 percent fewer M/ADs. Even when the researchers’ estimates were adjusted to account for factors that might promote or trigger the disorders, the associations between smoking cessation and a reduced AUD or M/AD risk remained statistically significant.
Additional analysis indicated that stopping smoking reduced the risk for persistent or recurrent DUD in part through an impact on concurrent AUD. Similarly, compared to steady smoking, quitting smoking reduced the likelihood of the development of new-onset DUDs (68 percent less likely), AUDs (21 percent) or M/ADs (24 percent) during the survey period. After other potentially influential factors were taken into account, quitting remained significantly associated with a lower risk for a new-onset DUD.
The Missouri researchers concluded that the findings showed a high degree of compatibility between smoking cessation and recovery from mental disorders – news that should be instructive to anyone benefiting from treatment, their family members and loved ones.