Mentally Ill Also More Likely To Have Smoking Addictions

The program coordinator for the 5 Counties for Tobacco Free Living says quitting smoking is tough, but it is even more difficult for those with Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and mental health issues. Sandy Bernier of the Fond du Lac County Health Department notes counselors who work with those with mental health problems also find themselves helping patients to quit smoking at the same time. Research shows if smoking is addressed with other AODA and mental health issues at the same time patients are 25 percent more likely to stay clean and sober. Bernier says unfortunately research also shows that those who have AODA and mental health issues are more likely to be addicted to smoking and will die at a younger age as a result. Sixty percent are more addicted and are likely to die 25 years before the general population. One treatment program in Wisconsin effectively used posters that said, “I didn’t overcome bipolar or depression only to die from lung cancer.