A rationale and model for addressing tobacco dependence in substance abuse treatment

Kimber P. Richter, Julia H. Arnsten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most persons in drug treatment smoke cigarettes. Until drug treatment facilities systematically treat their patients' tobacco use, millions will flow through the drug treatment system, overcome their primary drug of abuse, but die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses. This paper reviews the literature on the health benefits of quitting smoking for drug treatment patients, whether smoking causes relapse to other drug or alcohol abuse, the treatment of tobacco dependence, and good and bad times for quitting smoking among drug treatment patients. It also presents a conceptual model and recommendations for treating tobacco in substance abuse treatment, and provides references to internet and paper-copy tools and information for treating tobacco dependence. At present, research on tobacco treatment in drug treatment is in its infancy. Although few drug treatment programs currently offer formal services, many more will likely begin to treat nicotine dependence as external forces and patient demand for these services increases. In the absence of clear guidelines and attention to quality of care, drug treatment programs may adopt smoking cessation services based on cost, convenience, or selection criteria other than efficacy. Because research in this field is relatively new, substance abuse treatment professionals should adhere to the standards of care for the general population, but be prepared to update their practices with emerging interventions that have proven to be effective for patients in drug treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number23
JournalSubstance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 14 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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