Treating Smoking in Adults With Co-occurring Acute Psychiatric and Addictive Disorders

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Abstract

Objectives:

Tobacco use is undertreated in individuals with psychiatric and substance use disorders (SUDs), with concerns that quitting smoking may compromise recovery. We evaluated outcomes of a tobacco intervention among psychiatric patients with co-occurring SUDs.

Methods:

Data from 2 randomized tobacco treatment trials conducted in inpatient psychiatry were combined; analyses focused on the subsample with co-occurring SUDs (n = 216). Usual care provided brief advice to quit and nicotine replacement therapy during the smoke-free hospitalization. The intervention, initiated during hospitalization and continued 6 months after hospitalization, was tailored to readiness to quit smoking, and added a computer-assisted intervention at baseline, and 3 and 6 months; brief counseling; and 10 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy after hospitalization. Outcomes were 7-day point prevalence abstinence from 3 to 12 months and past 30-day reports of alcohol and illicit drug use.

Results:

The sample consisted of 34% women, among which 36% were Caucasian, averaging 19 cigarettes/d prehospitalization; the groups were comparable at baseline. At 12 months, 22% of the intervention versus 11% of usual care participants were tobacco-abstinent (risk ratio 2.01, P = 0.03). Past 30-day abstinence from alcohol/drugs did not differ by group (22%); however, successful quitters were less likely than continued smokers to report past 30-day cannabis (18% vs 42%) and alcohol (22% vs 58%) use (P < 0.05), with no difference in other drug use.

Conclusions:

Tobacco treatment in psychiatric patients with co-occurring SUDs was effective and did not adversely impact recovery. Quitting smoking was associated with abstinence from alcohol and cannabis at follow-up. The findings support addressing tobacco in conjunction with alcohol and other drugs in psychiatric treatment.

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