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People in Recovery

Recovery from alcohol and drug problems as well as a mental health condition is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.  Peer supporters and families can be a wonderful source of support for people in recovery. Wellness self-care skills and tools are critical to pursue a path to recovery.

NICOTINE ANONYMOUS

The purpose of Nicotine Anonymous (NicA) is to help people live free of nicotine. It began in the 1980s. established by a group of individuals who found that they could gain freedom by adapting and using the principles of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program. These individuals started NicA to develop a fellowship that would offer caring support and practical experience to others who had a desire to live free of nicotine. The objectives of the program are to provide the tools and support to help members become and stay free of nicotine. Each group has the primary objective also of carrying its message to the person who is struggling with nicotine addiction. There are NicA meetings both in person and online. The meeting formats are the same throughout NicA, whether in person or online. NicA World Services provides a history of the organization, the mission of NicA, NicA program and recovery literature, a meeting finder, a newsletter, and more, all posted on www.nicotine-anonymous.org

There are many benefits to being involved with NicA. Many individuals have tried every method available to become and stay abstinent from nicotine, using such varied approaches as getting help from psychiatrists, other physicians, hypnotherapists, acupuncturists, self-help books, and countless smoking cessation programs. Deeply discouraged, they turned to NicA as one more possible solution. What they found was that there were people who were not using nicotine because they admitted that they could not stop. Accepting their utter lack of control over nicotine, they offered support to the newcomer by inviting them to do the same [1].

NicA provides the experience, strength, and hope of members who have found freedom from nicotine. One does not have to be free of nicotine in order to become a member of NicA. All that is required is the desire to stop using nicotine. NicA is a “we” program, in that it believes that nicotine abstinence and continued abstinence cannot be achieved alone. Members are very supportive of one another. Members know what it is like to be nicotine addicted, and thus can relate to one another in a very compassionate manner with respect to the cunning, baffling, and powerful nature of nicotine addiction.

[1] Paraphrased from [asge 75 of  “Nicotine Anonymous: The Book.”4th Ed. Nicotine Anonymous World Services Inc. Huntingdon Beach, CA. 2008.

EFFECTIVE WAYS TO QUIT SMOKING.

After decades of smoking, I became aware of how much this behavior was affecting my physical health. I was becoming increasingly winded with vigorous activity, suffered from gastrointestinal problems, began having problems concentrating, and was experiencing some problems remembering things. I decided it was time to do something about my smoking.

I knew it was going to be a very difficult task. Smoking was my “friend” for many years. Smoking lifted my feelings of depression, helped me to focus, and served as a reward for me. It also helped me when I needed to think things over, took away feelings I did not want to experience, relieved stress, and a whole host of other positive associations that became related to this behavior over the years.

I had heard that there was a 12-step program for people who had problems quitting and staying quit from nicotine called Nicotine Anonymous (NicA). After a hospitalization for chest pain, I could no longer deny what smoking was doing to me. I searched online for any local face-to-face NicA group meetings. None were to be found. It occurred to me then to look online to see if there were any virtual support group meetings. In my quest, I found a NicA Group called Voices of Nicotine Recovery (VONR)[2] . I became a member and attended my first online NicA meeting. I was immediately welcomed by members. I found the VONR website to be very user friendly, and I benefitted from other members’ help in navigating the website. There was a wealth of NicA literature; recovery tips; a message board where members could share their recovery experiences, struggles, and growth; information on how to access meetings; a calendar of meetings; and more. I began to use these tools, while attending as many meetings as I could.

There are meetings all the time. I learned that I could gain abstinence from nicotine by admitting that I was powerless over its use. The stories others shared during meetings helped me to see that I was not alone in attempting to gain and maintain abstinence.

My recovery journey with NicA has not been without its setbacks. Relapses are a part of recovery and are nothing for which a person should feel shame. I found that, when I had relapses, I was helped by continuing to attend meetings to gain the strength to begin another “quit.” It has taken several relapses for me to maintain abstinence, illustrating for me the cunning, baffling, and powerful nature of being addicted to nicotine. As the NicA program states clearly, recovery is a life-long process.

Becoming and staying abstinent from nicotine is not an easy process. NicA helps. [2] https://voicesofnicotinerecovery.discussionforum.co/

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Wellness tools and resources to support recovery can be download from https://www.center4healthandsdc.org/wellness-in-8d.html). While you’re on that website, check out some of the other available resources.

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