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Smoking Cessation and Weight Control for Recovering Alcoholics and Drug Addicts

by James Heller 24. July 2009 09:37
For individuals with alcoholism or drug addiction who also consume tobacco products, nicotine is typically the last drug that they decide to give up.  There are various reasons why individuals in recovery from alcohol and drugs may decide to delay quitting tobacco use.  One of those reasons may be fear of gaining weight.  While some weight gain is normal (between 5 and 10 pounds during the first few months of tobacco cessation), there are several strategies that can be implemented to successfully keep weight under control.  Fear of weight gain should in no way impede a person's recovery from all harmful addictions.

Similar to other types of stimulant use, weight is affected because nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant.  If a person decides to quit smoking, they will need to be mindful of not replacing their smoking behavior with an increased consumption of food.  Food should not be used as a replacement for smoking.  Instead, a person can reach for a healthy snack or a piece of fruit and as much as possible remove tempting, high fat foods from the home.  With some attention to eating behavior, particularly the types and amounts of foods consumed, someone can safely make adjustments to minimize weight gain.  If a person's eating habits remain the same as they were when they smoked, any extra weight gain could be easily taken off with a daily 30 minute brisk walk or other type of exercise activity.  Always avoid alcohol consumption, which is not only high in calories, but can be a significant trigger back to smoking behavior.

Weight gain when you quit smoking shouldn’t prevent your determination to stay off all drugs and substances. Be good and patient with yourself because quitting smoking and recovering from alcohol and drugs is a process over time. The benefit of quitting now is that you will significantly increase your odds of having a healthy long-term recovery.  Don't let the fear of weight gain keep you chained to an addiction that will kill you, given the chance.  

For more information, please visit:

http://www.smokefree.gov/pubs/FFree3.pdf

http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/health/w8quit-smoke/

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, and in Santa Ana.