quitting smoking and drinking at the same time: Tips for Coping with Nicotine Withdrawal and Triggers NCI

quitting smoking and drinking at the same time
quitting smoking and drinking at the same time

I figured if I started drinking again, I’d never quit smoking . Therefore, if drinking is your priority addiction to deal with, be mentally prepared, if you absolutely must, to smoke again if it’s that or drinking. It is a common worry that trying to quit smoking and drinking at the same time will undermine treatment for alcohol dependence.

People who are dependent on alcohol are also likely to smoke cigarettes. King set out to test whether smokers who also drink heavily could be helped through a combination treatment, using two drug therapies together instead of just one. She wondered whether combining treatments that are known to work well would help with smoking cessation for this group. The results of a study to test this idea were published March 4 in JAMA Network Open. While many often dismiss heavy drinking and smoking behaviors as “bad habits,” there are biological mechanisms that tie the two tightly together.

quitting smoking and drinking at the same time

Talking about your efforts in a supportive environment with people who share similar experiences can make all the difference in your attempts to quit. Addiction can coexist or contribute to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Together with therapy, prescription medications may treat concurrent psychiatric disorders that contribute to addiction. If you are a long-term and heavy drinker, consider a medically supervised detox. Nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources. A nicotine patch adheres to your skin and can help you stop smoking.

Are there alternative methods to help people deal with nicotine withdrawal?

This practice can help you learn how to overcome a cigarette craving if you do start to drink again. Additionally, you are likely to be around other people who are smoking. Maybe your friends smoke or you encounter other people outside of the bar smoking.

quitting smoking and drinking at the same time

If you become exhausted from poor sleep, this can make it harder to stay quit. A 2017 review of existing studies notes that people who use alcohol and weed together tend to consume more of both. This can increase your risk for developing a dependence on alcohol, weed, or both.

Remember, consuming weed after drinking alcohol might make you feel less intoxicated, which can lead you to drink more than you usually would. Usually, a bad reaction to mixing weed and alcohol will pass within a few hours. You may even wake up with some lingering effects the next day. If you’ve mixed weed and alcohol and are having a bad reaction, it’s probably because alcohol seems to make the high from using weed stronger. The resulting unpleasantness is casually known as a green out.

How can I resist the urge to smoke when I’m around smokers?

At the end of the day it can be helpful and motivating … but you really have to want to quit. If you simply can’t avoid hanging out with smokers, get an electronic cigarette and/or bring gum. These are crutches, https://sober-home.org/ but they just might keep you cigarette-free. As I tried to quit both at the same time, I viewed smoking as a security blanket. When I felt agitated and wanted to self-destruct by getting hammered, I’d smoke.

  • After you quit smoking or using other tobacco products, you may feel edgy and short-tempered, and you may want to give up on tasks more quickly than usual.
  • There are different ways people swap out a cigarette for a healthier option.
  • While the number of people who regularly use tobacco is going down, people who consider themselves social smokers isgoing up.
  • However, Dr. Damaris J. Rohsenow from the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University has a different outlook.
  • If you want to eliminate both alcohol and cigarettes from your life at the same time, it can be difficult but it’s not impossible.
  • Just rip that tough old bandaid right off as quickly as possible and get’er done.

Avoid doing the things that trigger your cravings for a cigarette. For example, if you always smoke with your morning coffee, try switching to tea instead. Write down what you like about smoking and what you don’t like about quitting.

Keeping your mouth busy may stop the psychological need to smoke. You’ve heard about the Great Resignation, but quitting your job is just one way that throwing in the towel can be a great way to get ahead. This story is part of a Men’s Health series on how real-life quitters became winners—and how you can join them. You may notice that it is harder to concentrate in the first days after you quit—this is very common.

To take advantage, crush or grind a handful of peppercorns, then take a long inhale. You don’t want to actually get the pepper in your nose. Adding alcohol to a low dose of THC impaired driving simulator scores by 21 percent. Adding alcohol to a high dose of THC impaired driving simulator scores by 17 percent. Those who consumed just alcohol had worse cognitive functioning than those who only consumed THC. Those who combined the two had reduced cognitive performance than those who only consumed alcohol.

About This Article

They focus on their most important change and after a period of conscious effort, the change becomes more automatic and habitual. It becomes easier to refuse or avoid drinks, to have a different evening routine, and respond to stress in healthier ways. Enlist the help of supportive friends and relatives.

This can happen any time you’ve consumed to much weed — with or without alcohol. I quit both because they were triggers for each other. I found I wasn’t that interested in smoking if I wasn’t drinking at all, as well as taking up my time exercising, doing outside activities, etc. It was fairly easy for me though because I only smoked when I drank, the thought of sober smoking is actually kinda gross. However, I do know people have done both at the same time. I figured the alcohol was killing me more quickly.

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

It may actually be easier for you to make a complete lifestyle change when you stop using alcohol and cigarettes at the same time. One in five people who smoke also drink heavily, but they show worse outcomes than non-heavy drinkers in quitting smoking and are often excluded from smoking cessation trials. Knowing how challenging it can be to quit smoking, Prof. Andrea King wanted to find a treatment that could help smokers to quit—particularly those who would describe themselves as heavy drinkers. That said, I used and still use a smoking cessation aid.

However, for the non-alcoholic folks who don’t drink to excess and have no need to quit drinking, quitting smoking is a good idea … but it’s still tough. For some reason drinking alcohol never caused me to crave a cigarette when I was quitting, so that wasn’t a high-risk situation I needed to worry about. These medications can help with withdrawal symptoms and relapse. Experts tend to vary on which method—quitting drinking and smoking together or one after the other—is the best. This is largely due to the fact that relapse is a factor to consider, and some believe that quitting both drinking and smoking at the same time might increase the chances of relapse.

Here’s everything you need to know, including whether it’s safe to add alcohol into the mix. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. It might seem harmless to mix alcohol and weed, but doing so can be a slippery slope toward getting overly intoxicated. A bit of food or a sugary drink can help relieve dizziness.

Nicotine replacement therapy is more effective when combined with advice or counseling from a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Nicotine nasal spray is available by prescription only. The spray comes in a pump bottle containing nicotine that tobacco users choices sober living can inhale when they have an urge to smoke. Nicotine is absorbed more quickly via the spray than with other nicotine replacement products. Nicotine nasal spray is not recommended for people with nasal or sinus conditions, allergies, or asthma or for young tobacco users.

It took me fewer tries to quit drinking than quit smoking. The reason for this is that smoking didn’t have the immediate horrible effects on my life. I was a blackout drinker which caused me problems that were real. In a eco sober house price nutshell, drinking made my life far more unmanageable. I draw upon my personal experiences as a now-non-smoker and controlled drinker and my professional work as a psychologist in health behaviour change and addictions.

“It’s complicated” – the relationship between alcohol and smoking

Smoking and drinking do not ease your stress levels, they are actually making them worse. Yale University boffins found that smoking and drinking together affects your brain’s GABA receptors. They control your responses to stressful situations, and slow down brain activity and reduce anxiety.

For me the pain was just too much so I quit drinking first followed by smoking. I had one to two cigarettes for every drink, which resulted in me smoking nearly a pack during any given drinking session. In fact, some newrat research has revealed how nicotine activates both reward neurons as well as stress neurons in the brain. People then crave alcohol to calm this stress system – another reason why it could undermine your attempts to cut down or stop drinking if you continue to smoke.

Look for smoke-free options, such as smoke-free support group meetings. Plan activities where smoking is unlikely, or with family and friends who don’t smoke. Counseling, medicine, or both may help you handle the withdrawal symptoms. For many people, alcohol and cigarettes go hand-in-hand, yet both are highly addictive.

Whats the Importance of Gratitude in Recovery?

This will help you feel even more grateful for what you have. Further, practicing gratitude helps you look outward, to all the wonderful things that surround you, rather than keeping you focused inward, gratitude in recovery which can lead to feelings of negativity and despair. It can take a daily mindful effort to focus on gratitude, but you will find over time that such practices can just become part of your life.

  • A gratitude list or gratitude journal in recovery will remind you of everything you have to be grateful for – the good things in your life.
  • When you experience cravings or negative feelings, you can simply open your notebook and look at the many positive aspects of your life.
  • Most people tend to be happier and more satisfied with life when they contribute to others and help them with their own lives.
  • By intentionally noticing and appreciating whatever strikes us.

If people are grateful to be sober, it is unlikely that they will relapse back to their addiction. This is because they will have to motivation to do what they need to in order to protect their sobriety. It is only when people take their recovery for granted, or they develop stinking thinking, that they begin sliding towards a relapse. A grateful attitude will mean that people can face the challenges that confront them in recovery calmly.


Even if you’re struggling through an exceptionally difficult life circumstance, there is always something to be thankful for. At Lifeskills South Florida, we’re here for those seeking help with a drug or alcohol addiction. Entering treatment is the first step to recovery, and we focus on equipping clients with coping and self-care skills for reintegration back into life once out of treatment. Our program goes above and beyond to empower individuals during their recovery.

  • Taking a moment to think about something good you have now can serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come since your addiction.
  • Gratitude places us in a position to not only recognize how far we’ve come, but to recognize and thank the people who’ve helped us get to where we need to be.
  • These thoughts, as mentioned, can tend to be negative, always seeing what is wrong and what we don’t want.
  • When we begin to stop seeing what’s wrong and begin to see and appreciate what’s right, our lives will be transformed.

His personal treatment experience helped shape his leadership principles today. Since 2016 Jay has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers . As past chair of NAATP’s Ethics Committee, Jay was instrumental in important changes made to the organization’s code of ethics. In addition, Jay serves as Treasurer/Secretary of the Foundation of Recovery Science and Education. He has also served on an advisory committee with LegitScript, certification that lets search engines know which treatment centers operate safely and legally.

The Power of Gratitude in Recovery this Thanksgiving Season

Those suffering from addiction who enter a treatment program learn the importance of changing their perception of the world including practicing gratitude. Being grateful can motivate someone to take the actions needed to change their life. Practicing gratitude in recovery can help someone realize life’s difficulties can be faced with dignity. It’s a fundamental element in recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. The benefits are for everyone, but for individuals in recovery it they are especially powerful. Gratitude strengthens sobriety, reduces relapses, and provides generally better outcomes after treatment.

If you are wrong, promptly admit it and don’t let the small things build up into large painful problems. You can also demonstrate your gratitude in interactions with others by being of service. This helps to get you out of your own head and distracts you from drinking or using. Spending time being of service to those less fortunate than yourself will help reframe your problems, allowing you to be thankful for what you have. “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated”- William James.

Burning Tree seeks to be the most affordable, high-quality treatment provider in the nation

Without it, you may struggle with ego or dissatisfaction, which can lead to relapse. Some people cultivate gratitude through mindfulness-based practices https://ecosoberhouse.com/ or other well-known methods. However, there are many different ways you can practice it, prevent relapse, and maintain long-term sobriety today.

What should I be grateful for in recovery?

Health and wellness.

Speaking of feelings, another reason to feel gratitude in recovery is for your improved health. Waking up feeling energized and well tops the list of benefits of being sober. It certainly beats waking up with a hangover and moping around in bed all day.

We should be patient with our feelings while our minds recalibrate to those details that most deserve our appreciation and respect. Another way to express gratitude is to write thank-you notes to the people who have made a difference in your life. Other studies have also shown that practicing gratitude can lead to increased feelings of well-being and a more positive outlook in life. It can also be an incredibly powerful tool for growth and healing. Many studies support the use of gratitude to improve outcomes for people in recovery from drug or alcohol use disorder. In one study, the researcher evaluated a group of treatment participants and some staff members for psychological traits, coping skills, gratitude, and other factors.