Those who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol understand wholeheartedly the grip a foreign substance can have on the human body. Addiction is more than a physical need which draws a person toward doing something they know not to do. Addiction is a spiritual battle that rages every moment of the individual’s life. It is something that twists the soul, deranges the mind, and corrupts the heart. However, as millions of addicts around the world have come to know – hope is not lost. Recovery is possible for all who wish to possess it.
In light of this, one of the downsides facing those in recovery may be the fact that they are hanging on to smoking cigarettes as a crutch. Cigarettes and coffee are the hallmark of the recovering addict. It is a shame that through the life changing events which transpired in order to free the addict from active use, that individual may still be gripped by the life-stealer known as cigarettes.
Let’s take a look at smoking, one of the more powerful addictions people face every day. A single cigarette contains over 600 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. A lit cigarette, however, can produce a deadly cocktail of over 7,000 toxic chemicals. Cigarette smoke can affect virtually every system of the human body. It causes emphysema/COPD, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, blood and lung cancers, and much, much more. Why do so many people smoke knowing that they are destroying their bodies? Addiction.
The addiction to smoking cigarettes is one of the strongest forms of addiction in the world. Cigarettes are as addictive as heroin or cocaine – and can be just as hard to quit. However, after all of the effort, praying, and “just for todays” in order to quit using hardcore substances, why let cigarettes survive the purge?
All addicts fight a tough battle, and they form a bond with others who are struggling with the same challenges. It is this bond that forms a kinship which results in groups that can truly help one another. Each addict has their own personal backstory, but the end results are always the same. The result is using a foreign substance compulsively, and losing manageability of their own lives. Many have harrowing stories, personal tragedies, and often loss. The loss of a compatriot or family member to the disease can leave a lasting scar.
However, no matter how dire the situation, no matter how deep the scar, no matter how bad an addict suffers – there is hope. Once active use has been survived and remission of the disease has been accomplished, life can now be lived on life’s terms.
But what about smoking? Smoking is just as damaging as any drug on the planet, and actually kills more. Way more. In fact, according to the American Lung Association, each year drug use takes approximately 39 thousand lives. Direct smoking and those who are exposed to second-hand smoke causes approximately 443 thousand deaths per year. An additional 8.5 million live with some form of illness related to smoking or second-hand smoke exposure.
To say that we are fighting a war against these foreign substances, only to give in to the biggest killer of them all is counterproductive. Something must be done.
Support is requested by all recovering addicts, and all who are involved with the process of recovery. Smoking is a battle a recovering addict cannot afford to lose. With all that has been fought for, one more fight is needed. According to the National Library of Medicine, smoking’s effect on the “central nervous system is neuroregulatory in nature, affecting biochemical and physiological functions in a manner that reinforces drug-taking behavior.” Again, smoking can lead back to old habits and relapses, without the recovering addict understanding why. That is why it is imperative to spread awareness on the true effects of smoking. Through education addicts can recover fully, and ensure the disease remains in remission.