Smoking is Nicotine Addiction
If you are still smoking, you are an active drug addict. That may sound harsh, especially if you are in recovery, and have stopped using alcohol or other drugs…except nicotine. Nicotine addiction IS drug addiction. Period.
Tobacco use kills more people than all other illicit drugs combined, yet this is often denied in the recovery community. Back in the ‘old days’ of 12 Step meetings, one of the first basic jobs for newcomers was to wash ashtrays. AA meant coffee and cigarrettes. Even the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous said not to worry about smoking cigarettes. It is very noteworthy though, that the two co-founders, Dr. Bob, and Bill W., both died early deaths from emphysema due to smoking. So, times have changed, no one denies the toxic properties of tobacco anymore, and the powerful addictive forces of nicotine.
Commonly, people in 12 Step communities strongly suggest to newcomers that they should NOT quit smoking. The message is, don’t quit tobacco and your other drug of choice at the same time. This was the prevalent thinking in the addiction treatment field for many years, but not anymore. It has been clearly shown that people who continue to use tobacco have higher relapse rates. This makes sense on many levels. One is that smokers are still caught in the cycle of addiction. Nicotine addiction. Craving, satisfying the craving, discomfort, craving…the physical addiction is still in control – the addict voice. On another level, watch what happens when a tobacco user gets upset about something – they reach for more tobacco. The emotion is stuffed down with inhalation.
Addiction is a disease of feelings, whenever an unpleasant is felt, the addict reaches for a substance or behaviour to anesthetize or change the feeling. It is by facing the feelings, and going through them, that healing happens.
Drug Rehab, or Addiction Treatment, is the perfect time to put down nicotine. There is no better time to stop tobacco use. Detoxing can be very difficult, it is best to detox off of everything at once, with help, so as not to have to ‘spread it out’. Drug and Alcohol Treatment is where a person has their best support system in place, and their best chance of being successful in being tobacco free. A person going to treatment is often coached to have their last cigarette, put on the patch, and then get on the plane to their recovery center. It is a fresh start. Our experience has shown that people who do this are amazed as the days go by, and tobacco cravings are fleeting and almost nil.
At Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Retreat Panama, we also use Nicotine Anonymous literature as an adjunct to our other recovery materials. We will effectively help you stop smoking as part of your recovery. We are completely tobacco free, in fact tobacco use in Panama is very low, and there are non-smoking bylaws throughout the country. Smoking on the street, or outside of AA meetings is rare.
This may be the beginning of your recovery, and you are willing to give yourself your best chance by surrendering all physical addictions, or you may have been sober for years, but still unable to put down the nicotine. We can help you if you are ready for help.
An active drug addict can never be truly happy, joyous and free. Serenity Vista’s complete abstinent based, holistic recovery program will set you free.
One of the few smoke free rehabs in the world that treats nicotine addiction like all other drug addictions, is located in quaint Boquete in tropical Panama. We are an English-speaking program for adults who are serious about recovery and ready to begin a new life. We help people with nicotine addiction, alcohol addiction (alcoholism), gambling addiction, caretaking and codependency, sex addiction, food addiction, and other forms of compulsive behaviours that are causing unhappiness in your life, or the lives of your loved ones.
Serenity Vista is located in a beautiful Panamanian setting, on a hectare of gorgeous property, bordered by a river and a creek, with a stunning view of Volcan Baru. It is a special place of healing and renewal.