Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Ban Smoking, Promote Acupuncture in Rehab, Expert Says

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Ban Smoking, Promote Acupuncture in Rehab, Expert Says

Article excerpt

COLORADO SPRINGS -- Smoking defeats the purpose of drug and alcohol addiction recovery programs and therefore should be banned, said Dr. Elizabeth B. Stuyt, medical director of Circle Program at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, Colo.

Nicotine inhibits new learning in the brain and thus hinders recovery from other chemical dependencies, said Dr. Stuyt, a psychiatrist.

"I don't know how patients can possibly heal while they are smoking, given the neurobiology," she said in an interview.

At a conference on addictive disorders and behavioral health, Dr. Stuyt said her 90-day inpatient recovery program for patients with comorbid chemical dependencies and psychiatric disorders has banned smoking for the past 5 years. The decision was based partly on the results of her study, which found significantly higher 12-month alcohol and drug addiction recovery rates among nonsmoking participants (50%), compared with those who smoke (14%) (Am. J. Addiction 1997;6:159-67).

Dr. Stuyt says all addictive drugs, including nicotine, have been shown to reduce hippocampal neurogenesis and thus decrease the brain's ability to adapt to new information. …

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