Smoking and rehabilitation for substance abuse and mood disorders seem to go hand in hand. A recent study showed that kicking the smoking habit is unlikely to impede recovery while in treatment centers. Dr. Patricia Cavazaros-Rehg and her colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine found that smoking cessation may even help some in recovery.
Dr. Cavazaros-Rebg and colleagues examined 5,000 responses of smokers who completed the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol Related Conditions (NESARC). At the first interview, about 24 percent of the respondents had history of drug use disorder (DUD), about 50 percent had history of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and 39 percent reported having mood/ anxiety disorders (M/AD).
Between the initial and follow-up interviews, almost 60 percent of the respondents said they reduced the amount they smoked by 10 percent or more. Nearly 20 percent quit smoking altogether. The participants who quit smoking showed they were less likely to have a continuing or recurring disorder at the follow-up interview.
Compared to those who continued smoking at or near the levels they were smoking at the onset of the survey, quitters showed a nearly 70 percent drop on continuing or recurring DUDs, a 36 percent drop in continuing or recurring AUDs and a 30 percent drop in reported M/ADs.
When researchers adjusted their estimates to take into account the other factors that might trigger the disorders, the associations between smoking cessation and the lower risk for an AUD or M/AD kept its statistical impact. Researchers also found that people who quit smoking were less likely to develop new-onset disorders during the three-year survey period.
The St. Louis, MO based team’s findings are consistent with other studies, and eases concerns that encouraging patients in recovery to quit smoking may lessen success in treatment of alcohol and drug abuse disorders.