It’s Time to Reconsider Leveraging the Effects of Substances in Social Situations
Many individuals who struggle with generalized anxiety or social anxiety may utilize the effects of cigarettes or alcohol in order to better manage their anxiety. Self-medicating with these substances is dangerous as it can result in dependence or addiction to the substance of abuse. Once an individual is dependent on these substances, it requires a series of treatment methods in order to successfully overcome.
You may not call yourself a smoker but you do ‘light up’ in social settings as a social thing. Unfortunately, this categorizes you as a smoker as you are still partaking in the act of smoking and are putting yourself in a susceptible position for the negative effects of smoking. Just because you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol in social settings does not mean that you are immune or exempt from the effects that these substances have in your health.
The Frequency That You Smoke
There are two types of smokers:
- Stereotypical Social Smokers
- Atypical Smokers
The difference between the two is that the stereotypical smoker smokes only in social settings but never alone, however, atypical smokers will smoke alone as well as in social settings. Naturally, the more you smoke, the more hazardous it becomes and the more it will take a toll on your health and appearance. Those who classify as atypical smokers are much more likely to become addicted to nicotine than those who smoke occasionally. Even so, smoking is one of the most preventable causes of death across the nation. Knowing this should be a big enough deterrent but unfortunately, it is not as nicotine and tobacco are highly addictive substances.
Those who are social smokers or atypical smokers are susceptible to certain illnesses. Some of these are:
- An increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Higher risk for lung cancer
- Have an overall lower quality of life
- Lower energy levels
- Decreased physical appearance
Treatment for Social Smokers
Although social smokers do not require the same type of treatment or therapy as a heavy smoker or a chain smoker, they do still require treatment in order to kick this habit. Avoiding triggers is essential when wanting to quit smoking altogether. If you get anxious in social settings and can’t help but light up a cigarette, avoiding these social settings until you can manage your cigarette use is essential in overcoming this bad habit. Another thing to avoid is people that smoke as this could influence and pressure you to smoke as well. Instead of sticking around an environment that is conducive to relapse, consider removing yourself from the situation at hand until you are ready to face environments that are full of triggers and pressure.
If you are a social smoker or drinker, you are putting yourself at an increased risk of serious health issues if you continue. You are also putting yourself at a higher risk of becoming an avid substance abuser which has detrimental and long-term effects. There are various therapies and treatment options available for those who are looking to overcome their social smoking or drinking habits.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.