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Has Alcohol and Smoking habit from very long. What would be the impact if quitting it suddenly?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1853 Questions
Dear Team,

My Father has Alchol and Smoking Hobit for the past 30+ yrs and now a days we could find him taking excess alchohol and hence we spoke to him and he is willing to quit but little worried that hius health might have an impact hence need a Consultation
Posted Sat, 29 Jun 2013 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 48 minutes later
Thanks for your query.
I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Important aspects of your query are:
• 52 year old male
• Known case of alcohol and smoking addiction

Sudden stoppage of substance use called Cold XXXXXXX method. It is associated with severe discomfort for person. So, many physicians do not advise it.

For any de addiction process following steps are followed:
-Consent of the patient: you already mention that he is ready to quit alcohol and smoking.
-Motivational interviewing: He already appear to motivated to quit smoking, but need to maintain this motivation
-Stoppage of smoking and drinking with prevention of discomfort or withdrawal: Nicotine replacement for short duration, detoxification of alcohol with help of benzodiezepines medicines
-relapse prevention: by anti craving treatment wth commonly used medicines by physicians like Bupron
-maintenance treatment.

First he should reduce number of cigarettes smoked per day. He should reduce it 1 cig every alternate day. Same time anticraving medicines (like Bupron) are given to reduce craving for smoking. We have many patients who stopped smoking with its help. But for that you need prescription from psychiatrist.

After 14 days of start of Bupron, fixed a quit date to stop smoking completely. Throw your all remaining cig and associated material like lighters on that day, otherwise they will create craving for smoking. Inform your friends and family member for quit date as it will increase your motivation.

You can also use mouth fresheners like Elaichi during craving for smoking. After that you are free from smoking.

Always remember being smoke and alcohol free, need high level of motivation. So maintain your motivation. I have simplified steps to quit smoking. But quitting alcohol should be done under psychiatrist supervision, as it is a specialized area and keep follow up to remain motivated. Avoid place, person and situations which create craving for smoking and alcohol, as much as possible.

Many psychiatrist and psychologist provide relapse prevention sessions to prevent relapse, which is also helpful.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.
Wish you good health.
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