New York, NY (March 15, 2022) —The Center for Health Systems Improvement at CAI has released a new report, Treating Tobacco Use Disorder in Behavioral Health Populations: Innovative Approaches and Uses of Approved Medications, that provides current information about FDA-approved medications for treating tobacco use and ways that behavioral health professionals can use them to improve health outcomes of their patients.
Tobacco use, especially cigarette smoking, is the leading preventable cause of chronic disease and death in the United States. Individuals with serious mental illness smoke at much higher rates than the general population and, as a result, suffer more smoking-related morbidity and mortality.
Many people may not realize the extent to which the use of tobacco affects behavioral health. Smoking and other tobacco use are associated with a greatly increased risk of substance use disorder relapse, and they may interact with or compromise the efficacy of antipsychotic medication treatment.
“Tobacco use disorder is an addiction. It should be treated as a chronic, relapsing condition and be part of an overall recovery process,” said David Davis, director of Tobacco Control Health Initiatives at CAI. “Studies consistently demonstrate that addressing patients’ tobacco use is an important part of effectively treating their underlying mental illness or substance use disorder.”
Treating Tobacco Use Disorder was written to help behavioral health providers working in all health settings—outpatient, hospital, residential, integrated and stand-alone—integrate effective treatment into patient care. Topics covered in the report include:
- The effectiveness and safety of nicotine replacement therapies, tobacco-use treatment medications, and Varenicline
- Conditions under which using medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is recommended, including for patients who may not be ready to treat their tobacco use disorder
- Special considerations for in-patient settings, such as leveraging peer support to enhance treatment of tobacco use
For more information about Treating Tobacco Use Disorder in Behavioral Health Populations: Innovative Approaches and Uses of Approved Medications, or the work of the Center for Health Systems Improvement at CAI, contact David Davis, ddavis@CAIglobal.org.