Less Is More –
December 31, 2019 – Some 24 million people are in long-term recovery, having benefited from treatment, recovery support and/or a variety of mutual aid organizations. Considerable innovation occurs regularly in the system, including motivational/cognitive-behavioral approaches, recovery community organizations, and harm reduction strategies such as needle exchange and naloxone distribution. The addiction and recovery field can justifiably point to the success of its evolution and the important outcomes that benefit so many Americans. Notwithstanding the above, however, there is a problem at the core of this enterprise that has long been avoided and now requires systematic and focused attention. Unaddressed addiction to cigarette smoking among treatment and recovery populations is responsible for disease and premature death among a substantial number of Americans who achieve long-term recovery from their substance use disorder (SUD).
Inaction, despite the data
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2013 issued a report, based on National Survey on Drug Use and Health data, titled Adults with Mental Health Illness or Substance Use Disorder Account for 40 Percent of All Cigarettes Smoked.