Quitting Alcohol vs. Quitting Smoking

Quitting Alcohol vs. Quitting Smoking

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: September 24, 2016

There’s a very good reason why alcohol and nicotine addiction are often mentioned together. It’s actually quite common to see people with a drinking problem who also smoke, sometimes heavily. Nearly 80% of heavy drinkers also smoke. Based on this information, you might be curious about the similarities and differences between quitting alcohol vs. quitting smoking.

Assessing the Need for Quitting Alcohol vs. Quitting Smoking

Prior to comparing these two tasks, it’s important to consider the differences between alcohol and nicotine. In the long-term, both substances create serious health concerns, alcohol health issues can occur much quicker. In the short-term, these two substances affect one’s health quite differently. For the most part, nicotine isn’t an imminent threat to one’s well-being on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, the consumption of large amounts of alcohol immediately impairs one’s ability to function in almost every way.

Quitting Alcohol vs. Quitting Smoking: How Different Is It?

There are three primary differences between addressing a drinking problem and the cessation of cigarette smoking:

  1. When cigarette smokers suddenly attempt to quit smoking, the act of doing so provides no health risks, mostly benefits. With alcohol, it’s quite different. When heavy drinkers suddenly stop drinking, they often experience withdrawal symptoms, including hallucinations, seizures and disorientation. All of these symptoms and others can be life-threatening.
  2. While there are plenty of medications to help lower cravings for smokers who are trying to quit, they aren’t absolutely necessary. Depending on the seriousness of the alcohol addiction, heavy drinkers might require medical assistance when trying to stop in order to avoid the aforementioned withdraw symptoms.
  3. Very few smokers require clinical treatment to stop smoking. Commitment is usually all it takes. Conversely, most, if not all, drinkers require help from a professional drug and alcohol treatment center like Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida.

Getting Help From Lakeview Health

Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida specializes in residential addiction treatment. Our base treatment program is centered around intensive therapy and the 12 Steps of Recovery. To address other possible dimensions of addiction, we also provide an in-house detox process, dual diagnosis treatment and our signature four-day family treatment program. Finally, we provide access to aftercare programs that help patients stay focused on recovery while readjusting to life on the outside without substances. If you’ve recently come to the realization you have a serious drinking problem and want help, Lakeview Health encourages you to immediately us at (866) 704-7692. Given the inherent dangers of trying to quit on your own, we would like to help you safely find the road to recovery and the chance for a better life.