Living One Day at a Time: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
There are not too many people smoking by choice these days. Almost every smoker has either entertained the thought, or has actually tried to quit... thousands of times. They have tried many methods too. Some of them are acupuncture, hypnosis, Zyban, Vipassana meditation retreats, nicotine gum, nicotine inhalers, electric shock... the list is endless. Nicotine addiction is a powerful drug addiction.
When 12 Step fellowships and drug rehabs became accepted by the mainstream as an admirable way to deal with addiction to alcohol and 'other drugs', nicotine did not make the list of 'dangerous drugs'. For many years people trying to get and stay clean and sober in a 12 Step Fellowship or through a treatment center, were encouraged to NOT stop smoking. People were told, "one addiction at a time", and to take care of the 'worst' addiction, then worry about stopping smoking later. More people die of nicotine addiction than all other illicit drugs combined. It has been shown time and again that people who continue to use tobacco have higher relapse rates. The user is still caught up in the cycle of addiction, craving and satisfying, craving and satisfying. The very act of inhaling mimics the pushing down of the feelings that nicotine is so good at. It numbs the feelings.
Today all quality and serious drug addiction recovery treatment centers treat nicotine addiction the same as any other addiction. People must not be using if they are in treatment. It is best to detox only once, and deal with all cravings while in the supportive treatment environment.A person may have been clean and sober from other drugs for some time but can't put down the tobacco. Or a person may have never had addictions to any other substance or behavior with the exception of nicotine. Either way, nicotine addiction kills and nicotine drug rehab works. Going to a treatment center, addiction recovery retreat or to a drug rehab is now acceptable and admirable behavior for the chronic smoker ready to face the real issues.
Nicotine Anonymous literature is one of the tools used at Serenity Vista's nicotine addiction recovery retreats. Nicotine Anonymous, The Book, is written by an anonymous person who had been sober in AA for many years, yet was still powerless over his nicotine addiction. The NicA 12 Step Fellowship is growing and is strong.
At quality addiction recovery retreats like Serenity Vista, no one is excluded from the nicotine addiction recovery program, even people who have never used tobacco - although those people are rare. Non-smokers are continually impacted by active smokers in their lives, and the program helps to identify enabling and codependent behaviors of the non-smoker.
It is time for nicotine addiction drug rehab to become as mainstream as treatment centers for other addictions. Alcohol, prescription drugs, illicit drugs, gambling, sex addiction, food addiction, internet addiction and nicotine addiction all have the same solution. The solution is found in the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps, complete abstinence and a safe place to recover, discover and transform.
Jane Derry is an addictions expert and spiritual counselor at a drug rehab in Panama.
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Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Retreat in Boquete Panama is a place where people learn to live free of addiction. Nestled in the mountain highlands of coffee country, it is a place of healing and fresh living.
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