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Stopping Smoking Helps People Stay Sober and Keep Off Illicit Drugs

Substance abuse recovery is already a weighty task, but new research suggests that smokers have a greater risk of relapse than non-smokers.

04032017Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York studied data from 34,653 adults enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) to determine how the lapse in nicotine dependence treatment during illicit substance use recovery affects those in treatment.

Researchers evaluated study participants at “two time points, three years apart, on substance use, substance use disorders, and related physical and mental disorders. Only those with a history of illicit substance use disorders according to specified criteria were included in the final sample.”

Findings indicated that “daily smokers and non-daily smokers had approximately twice the odds of relapsing to drug use at the end of the three-year period compared with nonsmokers.”

In addition to those findings, those non-smokers found to be smoking three years later “were associated with significantly greater odds of substance use disorders relapse compared to those who remained non-smokers.”

Based on the evidence, researchers surmised that “quitting smoking will improve anyone’s health”, but that those in treatment for illicit drug use stand an even greater benefit by quitting or not picking up the habit at all.

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