Alcohol and quitting

Joel
Joel

7:12 PM - Jun 09, 2001 #1

It is imperative that everyone here recognizes that everything you can do as a smoker, you can also do as an ex-smoker. You just have to teach yourself how. Some things you are forced early on to learn immediately, how to eat, sleep, use the washroom, breathe, etc. These are things that are required from day one for survival, so even though you may resist doing one of them, you can't resist it for long and will thereby be forced to start to break the association to smoking early on. Other things are sometimes put off and seen as not critical to face early on. Things like working, laundry, cleaning, brushing teeth, combing hair, etc. While it is true you won't die if you stop one of these activities for a day or two, putting off doing them too long will create a set of problems that can be quite annoying to those around you. Besides threatening your livelihood and making you look like a slob in general, if carried on too long, you can really start to feel intimidated that you may not be able to do one or more of these activities ever again. Once again I need to repeat the opening sentence here, everything you do as a smoker, you can also do as an ex-smoker--but you have to teach yourself how.



Now when it comes to areas of less importance, watching tv, sports, playing cards, being a couch potato, and yes, even drinking with friends--things that are not necessary for survival and in fact, things that may not even be good for you, well, the truth is you can do these things too as an ex-smoker. The same process is necessary though, you have to teach yourself how. Holding off too long can create a sense of intimidation, the feeling that you can never do it again. This simply is not the case, you will be able to get yourself back to your prequit existence if you choose to.



Drinking is a special case because the association is so strong and by its very nature lowers your inhibitions and can cause people to do some very irrational behaviors. Smoking can be one of them. Because of the drug influence, it is best to take it on gradually, in the beginning in a safe environment. By that I mean the first time, limit it to one drink just to show yourself you can do that. Also, do it with people who are non-smokers and who really are supportive of your quit. This is a much safer situation in the beginning by going out with drinking smoking buddies who may be a tad envious of your quit, and who, while drinking also have their inhibitions lowered that may manifest in behaviours of encouragement of your smoking at a time when you are more vulnerable.



Soon you will be able to face these environments too, but work your way their gradually, breaking some of the association and intimidation factors in the safer controlled environments. The fact is though, for the rest of your life you will need to keep your guard up, in a sense reminding yourself of your reason for having quit and the importance to stay off smoking everytime before you go drinking. It prepares you to face the situation in a much safer state of readiness.



One special note I need to make here. When I say everything you do as a smoker, you can do as an ex-smoker, the reverse is also true for some activities. If you were a recovering addict to alcohol or any other substance before, you couldn't use that substance as a smoker and you can't as an ex-smoker either without a full blown relapse.



There are some things you may be able to do now that you couldn't do before due to physical limitations posed by smoking. You may find that you are capable of doing activities that you gave up years ago because you were too old to do them or they hurt when you tried, and now, without smoking limiting you physically, you may find you will recapture activities you lost in your youth. This is great when it happens. But again, use of a substance you had a known problem with in the past is still an issue as an ex-smoker and will be for the rest of your life.



So anyway, use your own timetable that you are comfortable with, but the sooner you prove to yourself that life goes on without smoking, the sooner the concept of life after cigarette will become less intimidating and actually welcomed. Just start out gradually and in the case of alcohol, in a little bit of a safer more controlled environment and fashion.



The way to learn to do everything though is to gradually do everything while always remembering to never take another puff!



Joel


Related videos:


Can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol?
"I can't drink alcohol without a cigarette"
Everything you did as a smoker you can do as an ex-smoker
People in recovery from other addictions
Crutches to quit smoking


Related string; Alcohol - can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol? 
Last edited by Joel on 7:42 PM - Dec 31, 2016, edited 7 times in total.
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Joel
Joel

7:28 PM - Jun 09, 2001 #2

Yesterday I saw a few people refer to articles I have on the board about drinking. I could never seem to find them quickly when I need to so have brought them and a string that refers to the drinking issue in this string. This one I have categorized under "My New Life" so I can find it quickly in the future when the need arises. There is one more that I couldn't put my finger on but I will attach it next time I come across it.
So for all our non-alcoholic ex-smokers who who want to know whether or not at some point in their lives they can ever have a drink again and stay ex-smokers, the answer is yes as long as you always stay mentally prepared before and during drinking to be resolved to never take another puff!
Joel

Crutches to Quit Smoking
Last edited by Joel on 4:44 AM - Apr 10, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

7:43 PM - Jun 09, 2001 #3

This is a letter I wrote to a member who said when she came in she was also a recovering alcoholic. For privacy reasons I am not going to reveal the members identity. The message that applies to her applies to every recovering addict.

If some of you have personal insights from having dealt with other addictions you are free to attach into this string. As I said, it is one I will bring up often as the question of drinking arise. We have three groups of people here at Freedom, people who never drank, people who were social drinkers, and people who were recovering alcoholics. The first two groups can choose what way they approach alcohol once they quit smoking. The last group cannot, alcohol controlled them once just as nicotine did. Both substances must be dealt with the same way now. That is by the individual understanding that he or she can never take another sip and never take another puff!

Joel

Hello xxxxx:
Let me echo everyone else's welcome and assurance that you are in the right place. Your background in AA will serve you well here. You basically come to us with a thorough understanding of addiction. If you didn't, you would not be a recovering alcoholic but rather, an actively drinking one. You understand the principal of one drink, or one sip for that fact.

Now it is just transferring your experience and knowledge with alcohol and aiming it at nicotine. Same problem, drug addiction--same solution, stop delivering it into your system.

You probably feel quitting is scary, what will your life be like without smoking? Well, you probably had those exact same fears when quitting drinking. You were right when you thought your life would be different. It in all likelihood became immeasurably better. The same will hold true with this effort.

I always state it this way. Treat an addiction as an addiction and you will learn to control it. Treat an addiction like a bad habit and you won't have a prayer. Your use of nicotine is an addiction. Take your understanding of addiction, aim it at nicotine and you will do fine.

I should point out, whenever I have anyone who quits smoking after quitting another substance; they often have a harder time than many others in the group. Smoking may have been a crutch off the other substance. Now, when quitting, not only are they trying to break free from a primary addiction, but, they are trying to pull off the crutch from the other addiction.

While it may be harder up front, they are usually more successful than the average, again, because they understand addiction. Aim your other program at this and you will do fine.

If anything we can do to help, don't hesitate to ask.


Joel
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Roberta (GOLD)
Roberta (GOLD)

9:37 PM - Aug 11, 2001 #4

Thanks for keeping this post up top. I came here today because I was so bothered by an incident a few evenings ago that involved smoking, excuse me-NOT smoking, and drinking. I had gone out drinking with friends and wanted a cigarette so bad it ruined my entire night. I had to switch to water, I had to go home early.....wah, wah. I was so insulted by myself for wanting to smoke so bad it was "all encompassing", I couldn't even focus on a conversation I wanted to smoke so bad. I never thought it would feel that way after six months.

So, everyone, pay attention. Liquor is bad for not smoking and don't forget it even after six months. Gear up before going out, I always will in the future. Thanks for the reminder.

YQS, Roberta
I have been Quit for: 6M 3W 5h 36m 57s. I have NOT smoked 6127 sticking butts, for a savings of $919.05. Life Saved: 3W 6h 35m.
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MSN User
MSN User

1:22 AM - Aug 16, 2001 #5

This is something I am really worried about for myself. I have quit several times before this one and all but one quit ended in a bar or party. I can't trust myself to not smoke when I have a drink. But, I like to drink, and right now, I'm still trying really hard to convince myself that I don't like to smoke. I don't drink often, and when I do I rarely get drunk, but it seems, always has, that a cigarette just goes with a drink. My course of action is to avoid drinking as well as going out with my smoking friends for at least a month. Then I'll reevaluate.

Eve

1 week, 1 day, 12 hours, 55 minutes, 58 seconds without a sickarette
170 sickarettes not smoked
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marty (gold)
marty (gold)

6:34 PM - Aug 16, 2001 #6

Take your time, Eve

Having a drink is not a life-or-death issue, unless you're an alcoholic which clearly you aren't. So what's the big deal? Don't drink. Yet.

One day when your mind is telling you that your quit is strong enough, have one drink. If that feels OK, then stop worrying about it. If it starts to make you feel uneasy, lay off the drink for another couple of weeks, then try again.

Eve, you don't have a drinking deadline to meet. If you don't have a drink in the next two months, say, your world will not come crashing in. If you relapse, your world will come crashing in. We can do as non-smokers everything we used to do as smokers, (except take that one puff), but we don't have to do them all today

Marty
NOT A PUFF FOR 8 months 2 weeks 3 days : 4664 cigs not smoked : 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours added to my life
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Joel
Joel

9:27 PM - Jan 17, 2002 #7

I know drinking comes up as an issue every once and a while and I think this thread covers it from a two distinct angles that I want everyone to always be aware of.

First, that you need to go into all drinking situations with your guard up, higher than in normal non-drinking situations where you should have your guard up anyway.

Also, for anyone who has had past drinking problems, quitting smoking has not cured those problems. If you couldn't drink before, you still can't drink now.
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Stringbender Bronze
Stringbender Bronze

1:30 AM - Feb 24, 2002 #8

I would like to comment on this subject, I am a recovering alcoholic, I have been sober for 6 years and 10 months. I haven't smoked a cigarette in 4 weeks and 6 days. I use the principles I've learned in A.A. on a daily basis and I am applying them to giving up nicotine. Just like alcohol I don't quit for a lifetime, I just don't smoke or drink for today. It has been a good 4 weeks and 6 days and I hope to have many more, but I know I have to do it one day at a time.I want to thank everyone for all the help
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Joel
Joel

8:49 PM - Mar 02, 2002 #9

As seen earlier this week, we almost lost a long-term member from drinking without proper mental preparation. Everyone who drinks needs to go into drinking situations with his or her guard up and reasons for quitting and wanting to stay off intact. Waiting until being inebriated to deal with smoking thoughts on an intellectual level is dangerous and should be considered life threatening.

Life threatening when you consider that such a lack of preparation can cause a relapse and a relapse is fully capable of costing you your health and your life over time. People who know they are recovering alcoholics cannot drink--smoking or quitting smoking is not the variable here of primary concern for why they drink. They have an addiction to alcohol to be concerned with.

People who have never considered themselves to be an alcoholic or a problem drinker but who cannot drink in a controlled manner, or people whose drinking at one time has adversly effected their health or caused them any economic, professional, legal, or personal problems--these people need to think long and hard of whether they are in fact problem drinkers or possibly dealing with alcoholism issues. If your drinking threatens your quit, you are in effect a problem drinker--you are putting your health on the line to drink.

The vast majority of non-alcoholic social drinkers can still drink without risk of relapse--but being mentally prepared is crucial here. Go into ALL drinking situations reminding yourself that you are a recovering nicotine addict and you are going to be a recovering nicotine addict for the rest of your life.

While that may not sound great in concept--being a recovering nicotine addict--it beats being an actively using nicotine addict hands down. For over time being a recovering addict has no real signs or symptoms and no real adverse health or even social effects associated with it. Being an active user would actively be destroying tissue with every puff, depositing cancer-producing chemicals with every puff, assault your heart and circulatory system with every puff, cost you money with every puff, and make you reek with every puff. To avoid all the problems of being an active addict still translates to always knowing that to stay smoke free--even when not totally sober, still only requires remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Ladybird is Gold
Ladybird is Gold

8:29 AM - Mar 26, 2002 #10

Mary,
I know exactly your vision with the cigarette in full view (the moment of the loss of so many quits before) . . . & I too did not take one puff!! Happily !!
It was a very trying weekend for me with quite a few struggling moments as I sat in a room with 3 smokers puffing away constantly & me being the only person there not smoking (I could hardly believe I was!!). Having a few drinks probably added to the urges, but I made it, which makes me know I can have a few beers, enjoy them & not have to have a cigarette.
Today I was listening to a client (I am a counsellor) with an alcohol addiction describe how hard it has been for her to give up drinking (several admissions to detox & rehab, many relapses, etc) & I thought after about how socially acceptable drinking is in many situations. As an adult (& hopefully as a teen) there is very little outright pressure to smoke. Even if you are the only person in a group not smoking, no mention is even made of it. I have never seen a person who is a non smoker be repeatedly offered a smoke, whereas if someone says they are not drinking, often a series of coaxing follows. It is not necessary to explain why you don't smoke. There are no excuses or reasons or explanations required. It's great!!
Just wondering oif any other nicotine addcts thought about this . . .
YQS,
Susan
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

9:15 AM - Mar 26, 2002 #11

Interesting observation Susan! Back in my navy bootcamp days they actually gave smoke breaks to smokers while if there were any extra duties to be conducted the non-smokers were expected to keep going. It was the only time in my life that I saw non-smokers contemplate an immediate benefit from smoking.

I read recently that roughly 20% of drinkers have drinking problems while only 5 to 10% of drinkers are chemically dependent upon alcohol. With between 70 to 90% of adult smokers chemically dependent upon nicotine it's almost the reverse. Imagine if 90% of regular adult smokers were not dependent upon nicotine but instead, like drinkers, were free to come or go as they pleased . It's my guess that like with alcohol, you'd see a bit more social sharing and encouraging each other to smoke a bit of nicotine!

But reality is reality! Just one big puff of new nicotine and the comfort is over for this kid and it's back to working hard each day to keep pace with his constantly falling blood serum nicotine level. Being an actively feeding nicotine addict is work!
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Joel
Joel

10:42 PM - Mar 26, 2002 #12

Hello Susan and John:

Susan, you are right in your observation about most social circles now in regards to smoking. The one group that does face pressures still are younger people--and John, your recollections of the old Navy days still have relevance.

I was doing a little consulting work with the Navy a few years ago. They had initiated the total smoking ban in boot camps. Recruits would come in to basic training, be totally off cigarettes for 6 weeks I think, and then surveyed a few months later to see if they actually had lower smoking rates. The theory was, kids who got addicted when in high school or elementary school, now had the chance to detox and were then free to choose.

It sounded good in theory that there should have been a noticeable drop in smoking rates. In fact, the opposite was found--within a few months of time in the service there were actually more smokers than who originally enlisted.

The 18 to 24 year old age group has the highest smoking rates at this time in the United States. It is apparent that there still is some kind of pressure on these young people to smoke. In the military they seem to have felt that some of the pressure was coming from the training schools after basic training. The feeling was that many of the older instructors were still smoking, and one of the ways for the newer recruits to spend time with the instructors and maybe even win some favor was by sharing the cigarette breaks with them. I suspect this factor along with the one John points out such as the extra breaks for the smokers may be factors influencing the increased smoking trends.

Whether any specific person here has pressure on him or her to smoke or not to smoke, it still comes down to each individual's decision. The decision must be based on the available options--to smoke full-fledged until cigarettes eventually cripple and then kills you or to stay free from the total control that nicotine exerted on you in the past. If your choice is to stay free you must always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Lena (SILVER)
Lena (SILVER)

1:51 PM - Dec 22, 2002 #13

HI! This is a great thread especially for the holiday weekend. I have been obsessing a bit about a staff party I have tomorrow at a bar in town. All but three will be smoking and it will be my first time at the other side of the bar( My profession is a bartender ) since I quit. I thought of not showing but I know I must ultimately face my fears and be prepared. So I thank you for these letters on alcohol and I want you to know. I take this seriously. I have to believe things will get better and easier. Thank you and have a happy Sunday. Lena 2 Weeks 3days 3hours WITHOUT A PUFF!!
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Joel
Joel

8:38 PM - Mar 29, 2003 #14

Everyone who drinks needs to go into drinking situations with his or her guard up and reasons for quitting and wanting to stay off intact. Waiting until being inebriated to deal with smoking thoughts on an intellectual level is dangerous and should be considered life threatening.

Life threatening when you consider that such a lack of preparation can cause a relapse and a relapse is fully capable of costing you your health and your life over time. People who know they are recovering alcoholics cannot drink--smoking or quitting smoking is not the variable here of primary concern for why they drink. They have an addiction to alcohol to be concerned with.

People who have never considered themselves to be an alcoholic or a problem drinker but who cannot drink in a controlled manner, or people whose drinking at one time has adversly effected their health or caused them any economic, professional, legal, or personal problems--these people need to think long and hard of whether they are in fact problem drinkers or possibly dealing with alcoholism issues. If your drinking threatens your quit, you are in effect a problem drinker--you are putting your health on the line to drink.

The vast majority of non-alcoholic social drinkers can still drink without risk of relapse--but being mentally prepared is crucial here. Go into ALL drinking situations reminding yourself that you are a recovering nicotine addict and you are going to be a recovering nicotine addict for the rest of your life.

While that may not sound great in concept--being a recovering nicotine addict--it beats being an actively using nicotine addict hands down. For over time being a recovering addict has no real signs or symptoms and no real adverse health or even social effects associated with it. Being an active user would actively be destroying tissue with every puff, depositing cancer-producing chemicals with every puff, assault your heart and circulatory system with every puff, cost you money with every puff, and make you reek with every puff. To avoid all the problems of being an active addict still translates to always knowing that to stay smoke free--even when not totally sober, still only requires remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Jan 16, 2003

6:54 AM - Feb 28, 2004 #15

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 4:55 AM - Apr 10, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

3:04 AM - May 16, 2004 #16

The below recent study is not offered to show you how far science
has come in understanding the chemical and neurochemical
relationships between alcohol, nicotine and the function of human
mind but to instead show how little we yet understand.
No nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff!

Neurochemical and behavioral studies
on ethanol and nicotine interactions.
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2004 January;27(8):713-20.

Larsson A, Engel JA.

Department of Pharmacology, Goteborg University, Box 431, Goteborg SE-405 30, Sweden.

The most commonly abused drugs, alcohol and nicotine, are likely also the most costly drugs in terms of health and societal costs. A large body of evidence from epidemiological studies indicate that smoking and alcohol-intake are positively correlated. The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system has been implicated in mediating some of the reinforcing effects of ethanol, however, the mechanism(s) of action remains to be elucidated; consideration as to ethanol's ability to interact with ligand-gated ion channels should be considered.
Accumulating evidence from electrophysiological, pharmacological and neurochemical studies suggest that ethanol may interact with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Thus, it has been shown that the ethanol-induced stimulation of the mesolimbic dopamine system and of locomotor activity as well as ethanol intake and preference in rodents may involve central nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Additionally, data has been presented that nAChRs located in the ventral tegmental area may be of particular importance for these effects of ethanol. Studies aimed at defining the nAChR subpopulation(s) involved in mediating ethanol-induced locomotor stimulation and accumbal dopamine overflow as well as ethanol-intake have revealed that alpha(3)beta(2) or alpha(6) (using alpha-Conotoxin MII) but not alpha(4)beta(2) (using dihydro-beta-erythroidine) or alpha(7) (using methyllycaconitine), could represent targets for developing new drugs in the treatment of alcoholism. These results do not allow any conclusion as to whether the involvement nAChRs in mediating the effects of ethanol is direct and/or indirect.

With regard to an indirect effect, evidence has accumulated indicating that the cholinergic excitatory input to the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area may be an important part of the neuronal circuits mediating natural as well as drug-rewarded behavior. The possibility may thus be considered that ethanol activates the cholinergic afferents causing a release of acetylcholine in the ventral tegemental area leading to a stimulation of nAChRs and thereby excite the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system.

PMID: 15019421 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

9:50 AM - Jan 05, 2005 #17

"best to take it on gradually
in the beginning in a safe environment"
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

9:19 PM - Jan 07, 2005 #18

Imagine being at or near the peak of physical withdrawal and nicotine detox, where your brain begins working fast and hard at restoring natural neurotransmitter sensitivities now that nicotine's arrival has ended. Imagine your conscious dreams and desires of freedom doing a wonderful job at calming, suppressing and overcoming subconscious fears, craves and anxieties associated with arresting your world of chemical dependency, a world of "nicotine normal."
Now imagine taking early recovery into a smoke and smoker filled environment and then commencing to drink large quantities of a mind altering and inhibition diminishing substance. What are the chances of your healing surviving?
It's what these threads are all about. Although Freedom teaches that we need not give up anything when quitting, that rule must be applied using a bit of common sense. We also teach baby steps and little bites and those principles work extremely well in helping each of us work-up to fully engaging all aspects of life. Alcohol may play a role in half of all fatal vehicle collisions here in the U.S. but it likely plays a much greater role in the death toll stemming from nicotine relapse.
Plan ahead! Break the event down into smaller doable bites. Have a coping plan ready. Have a back-up plan. Have an emergency plan. You have but one healling patient to protect and it is "you!" A host of expectations, emotions and new experiences to encounter but only one guiding principle determining whether the patient's healing lives or dies, no nicotine just one hour, challenge and day at a time, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew! John (Gold x5)
Last edited by John (Gold) on 5:07 AM - Apr 10, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

10:12 PM - May 12, 2005 #19

Copied from the post Crutches to Quit Smoking
I just saw a post suggesting a nice way to celebrate being successfully off smoking for a year is to buy a bottle of wine to share with friends and loved ones. It made me think of the original article here and the commentary I attached the other day. The casual suggestion of celebrating successfully not smoking for a given time period with an alcoholic beverage of any kind really does not belong at a site dealing with treating a drug addiction. Are there people who may celebrate this way here at Freedom? Sure there are--I suspect that a lot of our members drink occasionally. But there are some members and readers here who don't drink to celebrate either by personal choice or, because they can no longer drink to celebrate without having to drink all of the time whether there is anything to celebrate or not. These are people who are recovering alcoholics and who hopefully know their own limitations. I suspect that some of these people may be put off by the suggestion of using alcohol to celebrate quitting smoking. Also, there are likely members and readers here who while they may not be alcoholic themselves, they may have family members and friends who are and who may think that buying wine to share with these people is not an appropriate method of celebrating breaking free from the nicotine addiction.

As it says above:
...do not use this site to glamorize drinking. There are people here who are recovering alcoholics who find posting about the fun and glamour of drinking to be quite disconcerting. Also, the frequent use of the emoticons, portraying a mug or a champaign toast are really seen as poor taste to these people. Put yourself in their place--if you belonged to a site that was on a totally different topic, and people came in touting the joys of recreational smoking, you would feel the need to enlighten the group or could be offended and annoyed with the casual way the subject was being portrayed. You could then either feel the need to take it head on and stir up debate with the group, or just leave the group. Neither of these options is acceptable to us at Freedom--for we have strict policies about diversional posts, and the idea of a person leaving because of an issue that is really unnecessary is abhorrent to us. Because the people who are here trying to secure their quits are here because they are fighting for their lives. Their needs then take precedent over people who are here for more social or fun reasons. Freedom is a quit smoking education and support site. We try to get the message out that life goes on without smoking--things you could do before can still be done after quitting. Things that could not be done before, such as safe or controlled drinking for a recovering alcoholic cannot be done now either. So as a general rule of thumb now, we are asking members to minimize the amount of time they are posting about drinking at this site. We have ample strings to cover alcohol issues. We will continue to bring them up as holidays come up, and around weekends where drinking situations are often encountered more frequently. But we ask that people who are regular users of alcohol not to raise the issue over and over again.

All posting members need to stay cognizant of this concept. It is not saying that issues involving drinking cannot be discussed. Again, if a person finds him or herself in a social drinking situation and it creates smoking thoughts, or if a person is nervous about how to get through a party or gathering where he or she will be drinking, it is totally legitimate to raise these concerns and for others to explain how they deal with such circumstances. Suggesting or encouraging the use of alcohol though to others who you do not know their full histories on is a risky proposition.

As we discuss in the thread The Freedom Classroom
[table]
[table]
Since December of 2002 we have had over 1,056,000 distinct hosts view pages at www.whyquit.com. If only 10% of these people find their way to Freedom it would still be over 100,000 people. The numbers may be higher. While we don't know the exact numbers of people who do read we know it is a lot. Every person posting at Freedom has an awesome responsibility because every word you are writing is capable of influencing hundreds or even thousands of people. Considering what we are trying to influence them to do, which is to quit smoking and to save their lives, it is easy to see how why we feel that this is indeed an awesome responsibility.

So everyone be aware and stay cognizant to the fact any advice written on this board is being read by hundreds to thousands of people. Make sure that any specific suggestions that you are sharing is sound advice for all people. Offering celebratory drinks to all people is an unwarranted suggestion in the event the people who you may be making the offer to are people in recovery from alcohol.

It is similar to our members getting offered a cigar to celebrate the birth of a baby or other special occasions. While the act may seem acceptable to some people in some social circles, I think most of our members and readers would feel that this act would be uncomfortable to say the least, and in poor taste if the offer was being made by a person who knew you had quit smoking, and that you had made it clear to that person that you realize that you are a nicotine addict and cannot smoke without relapsing.

Be prepared that such offers may occur from others. Offers for drinks will likely happen at times even if you are a person who is in recovery from alcohol. Understand that if you are a person in recovery that the reason that you have maintained your sobriety up to this point is that you have worked out some sort of response to deal with such offers and the bottom line is that it is your responsibility to stick to your commitment not to drink.

The same concept holds true for all of our members regarding smoking. I hope most of our members and readers never find themselves feeling that there is a right time to pass along a cigar or any tobacco product to another person to celebrate any event. All members and readers must be aware though that offers of tobacco products to you can occur over time. Once again, it is the personal responsibility of each member and reader to sustain his or her own quit even at such times by remembering that in spite of the nature of these offers that the only way to sustain your own quit and truly have something to celebrate is to stick to your own personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
[/td] [/tr] [/table] [/td] [/tr] [/table]
Last edited by Joel on 5:01 AM - Apr 10, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Kristen Goldx3
Kristen Goldx3

5:38 AM - Apr 13, 2006 #20

Smoking May Hinder Brain's Recovery from Alcoholism

By Jeff Minerd, MedPage Today Staff Writer
Reviewed by Rubeen K. Israni, M.D., Fellow, Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension Division, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
March 16, 2006


MedPage Today Action Points


Explain to recovering alcoholics that this study suggests quitting smoking may lead to faster brain recovery.


Review
SAN FRANCISCO - For alcoholics whose drinking brings on cognitive deficits, smoking seems to retard their cognitive recovery when they go on the wagon, a study here suggested.


"It is pretty well established that long-term chronic drinking of the amount that alcoholics do leads to abnormalities of brain structure, chemistry, and blood flow as well as cognition," said Timothy Durazzo, Ph.D., of the San Francisco VA in an interview.


Alcoholics may appear to be functioning normally, but cognitive tests will usually reveal abnormalities or "frank deficits," he added.


So it stands to reason that diminished cognition should reverse itself when alcoholics stop drinking. But, Dr. Durazzo found, cognitive recovery can be retarded by cigarette smoking, at least during the first month of abstinence from alcohol.


Smoking appears to interfere with metabolic brain recovery and cognitive improvement, Dr. Durazzo and colleagues reported in the March issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


They evaluated 25 recovering alcoholics-14 smokers and 11 non-smokers.


Using MRI, the investigators examined participants' brains for N-acetylaspartate, a marker of neuronal viability, and choline, a marker of cell membrane health. Measurements were made after seven and 35 days of abstinence.


Concentrations of N-acetylaspartate in the parietal white matter of the non-smokers increased from an average of about 28 institutional units on day seven to 29 units on day 35, but concentrations significantly decreased in smokers from 28 to 26.5 units (P<.05).


Similarly, choline concentrations in the non-smokers increased from an average of about 4.5 to 5.2 units (P<.05), but in non-smokers the average concentration stayed put at 4.7 units.


The authors reported that increases in N-acetylaspartate and choline concentrations were positively correlated with improvement in various cognitive domains including executive function, visuospatial learning/skills, fine motor skills, auditory verbal learning and general intelligence.


At one month of abstinence, the investigators also found "huge" differences between the smokers and non-smokers in performance on cognitive tests that measured such things as visual-spatial learning and memory, Dr. Durazzo said. However, these data are in another paper which has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, he added.


Cigarette smoke contains many toxic compounds, such as carbon monoxide and free radicals, that may directly or indirectly compromise the central nervous system tissue, the authors said.


The study's results suggest that for faster brain recovery, it may be beneficial for alcoholics in early abstinence to stop smoking as well, the authors said.


"This may be a lot to ask from an alcoholic individual going through drastic brain chemical imbalances in early recovery," Dr. Durazzo said.


On the other hand, "cigarettes and alcohol tend to go together," he said. "One may elicit cravings for the other. So if you are able to give up both at the same time, it may increase your chances of staying sober, because you don't have one substance serving as a trigger for use of the other."


The results of this study should be considered preliminary and must be confirmed by larger and longer-term prospective studies, the authors concluded.



Primary source: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Source reference:
Durazzo TC et al. Brain metabolite concentrations and neurocognition during short-term recovery from alcohol dependence: preliminary evidence of the effects of concurrent chronic cigarette smoking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 2006; 30(3):1-13. http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/ ... ns/tb/2877

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Kristen Goldx3
Kristen Goldx3

5:45 AM - Apr 13, 2006 #21

Smokers and Drinkers Get Head Start on Colorectal Cancer
By Neil Osterweil, MedPage Today Staff Writer
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
March 28, 2006
Source News Article: CBS News, Forbes, MSNBC MedPage Today Action Points

Explain to applicable patients that this study suggests that men and women who drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, or do both, seem to be at a higher risk than non-smokers/drinkers for early onset colorectal cancer.


Suggest to these patients a need for vigilance about screening for colorectal cancer.


Review
EVANSTON, Ill., March 28 - Men and women who smoke or drink, or either, have a likelihood of developing colorectal cancer five to eight years earlier than abstemious persons, reported researchers here.

Moreover, their review of records on more than 161,000 patients with colorectal cancer revealed that men as a gender tended to develop colorectal cancer about two years earlier than women, according to Hemant K. Roy, M.D., and colleagues at Northwestern.

The study, published in the March 27 Archives of Internal Medicine, indicated that patients who both smoked cigarettes and drink alcohol were likely to develop the disease about eight years earlier than non-smoking teetotalers. Smoking but not drinking had a greater effect on women than men.

"Our report provides compelling evidence that modifiable risk factors such as alcohol and tobacco use are associated with a younger age at diagnosis and a predilection for distal colorectal cancer," the authors wrote.

"These data underscore the need for cessation of alcohol and tobacco use as an integral part of a colorectal cancer prevention program," they continued. "If replicated in other data sets, our findings would argue that screening should be initiated at a younger age in alcohol and tobacco users."

To determine how risk factors such as lifestyle choice and gender could affect the incidence of colorectal cancer, the authors used data from a commercial cancer database (IMPAC Medical Registry Services Cancer Information Resource File).

They gathered data on people diagnosed with colorectal cancer diagnosed from June 1, 1993, to December 31, 2003, and classified them into current, past, or never-users of alcohol and tobacco.

They used logistic regression modeling for location of tumors (proximal or distal), and linear regression modeling for age at diagnosis and the variables that included gender, race insurance status.

Looking at data on a total of 161,172 patients with colorectal cancer, the authors found that current drinking and current smoking were each associated with 5.2 years younger age at onset, and the two combined were associated with a 7.8-year head start for disease onset (P<0.001 for all). Men also tended to develop cancer 1.9 years earlier than women (P<0.001).

Drinkers were about 20% more likely than non-drinkers to have distal cancers (odds ratio, 1.192, 95% confidence interval, 1.15-1.23), and smokers were about 16% more likely than non-smokers to have distal tumors (odds ratio, 1.164; 95% CI, 1.12-1.21). Men were also significantly more likely than women to have tumors in a distal location (odds ratio, 1.42, P<0.001).

The effects of smoking but not drinking on age of onset were greater among women than among men (adjusted age difference, 2.6 years; P<0.001).

"This is the first report, to our knowledge, to demonstrate that alcohol and tobacco use is associated with a younger age at colorectal cancer presentation," the investigators wrote. "The magnitude of effect suggests clinical applicability for the timing of screening initiation. Furthermore, alcohol and tobacco use along with male gender increased the probability of distal cancers, possibly having relevance to the choice of screening modality."

Primary source: Archives of Internal Medicine
Source reference:
Zisman AL et al.

"Associations Between the Age at Diagnosis and Location of Colorectal Cancer and the Use of Alcohol and Tobacco: Implications for Screening."
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Blue1451
Blue1451

2:22 PM - May 13, 2006 #22

I have been clean from nicotine for 47 days...and proud of it! I'm not really a big drinker anyway but once in awhile my husband and I would have a glass or two of wine with dinner! I must admit I'm a little nervous to do that! I know it will be a big trigger!
Thanks for the post! Maybe I just need more time under my belt!
Tracy
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Jan 16, 2003

7:27 AM - Jul 21, 2007 #23

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 5:14 AM - Apr 10, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

11:19 PM - Aug 25, 2007 #24

Combined Effects of Systemic Alcohol and Nicotine on Dopamine Release in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell
Alcohol Alcohol. 2007 Aug 8; [Epub ahead of print]

Tizabi Y, Bai L, Copeland RL Jr, Taylor RE.
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, 520 W Street NW, Howard University, Washington, DC, 20059, USA.
Abstract

AIMS: This study was undertaken to determine whether simultaneous administration of both alcohol and nicotine systemically would result in an additive dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NACC). Moreover, to also investigate whether nicotinic receptors may be mediating these effects of alcohol and nicotine, the effects of mecamylamine, a nicotinic receptor antagonist was also evaluated.

METHODS: Microdialysis was applied to measure the dopamine overflow in the shell region of NACC. All drugs were administered intraperitoneally. The doses of alcohol ranged from 0.5-2.0 g/kg, and nicotine and mecamylamine 0.25-1.0 mg/kg.

RESULTS: An additive effect of combined alcohol and nicotine on dopamine release was obtained. This effect of alcohol and nicotine was dose-dependently blocked by mecamylamine pre-treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings further support the hypothesis that an additive effect of alcohol and nicotine on the mesolimbic 'reward pathway' may contribute to the high incidence of smoking in alcoholics. Furthermore, nicotinic antagonists can block such effects of combined alcohol and nicotine.

http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co ... t/agm057v1
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Joined: 8:00 AM - Jan 16, 2003

9:06 AM - Dec 15, 2007 #25

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 5:27 AM - Apr 10, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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