Duke Health Awards Grant for Smoking Cessation

Duke Health has awarded TROSA a Building Healthy Communities grant to help provide resources for residents’ smoking cessation efforts.

Smoking is highly prevalent among individuals in treatment for substance use disorders. While the benefits of smoking cessation for individuals in recovery are vast, not all programs offer smoking cessation guidance and support. TROSA is proud to offer support and tools to help our residents reach and sustain their smoking cessation goals.

After Thirty Years, James is Now a Non-Smoker

TROSA resident James stopped smoking while in our long-term residential recovery program. “I wanted to stop smoking because it coincided with my other addictions. To give my recovery the best chance, I didn’t want to take that habit with me,” shares James.

James had been a smoker for “off and on, more than thirty years.” At TROSA, he received strategies for smoking cessation and transitioned to using patches and gum. Now, he does not use any kind of nicotine replacement and feels the benefits every day: “I can walk up steps. I can breathe. I can work out. I can focus on my health. I have more time for myself. I don’t smell like smoke. And food tastes better.”

Making Healthy Choices

Today James prioritizes both his mental and his physical health. He walks four miles every day and takes advantage of life skills classes and counseling offered at TROSA, which include Anger Management; Grief and Loss; and cognitive behavioral therapies to help with ways to respond to and regulate emotions. Every TROSA resident participates in daily community assignments, which help residents learn and practice how to live a full life in recovery. James’s community assignment in our fast-paced In-Kind office is rewarding.

“I’m learning a lot of patience. I’m learning how to not be a ‘coach’ all the time; learning to be a team player. I am learning how to ebb and flow in situations…how to adjust on the fly…how to discern what kinds of communications I give to different audiences. This will make me that much more solid when I become a ‘coach’ again.”

Future Goals

James’s long-term professional goal is to achieve certifications in project management to eventually help his sister in founding an environmental nonprofit.

“And my main goal here is to get my life back. I had lost myself completely. I couldn’t figure out how to pull myself out. The more I used, the more things went downhill; and then I would use more. It was a bad cycle.”

Since starting TROSA’s program, James has had many proud moments, including reconnecting with his family.

“I am most proud of rebuilding my family connections…my family now is excited to hear from me…that’s different. I know it may not be like it was; but I’m proud that I’m getting my family back.”

James has this advice for individuals looking to stop smoking: “Whatever the goal is that you have in mind…take the first little step. Before you know it, you’ll be walking…then you’ll be running. Be kind to yourself. If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Look at what you may have accomplished, and see if you can go further.”

Thank you Duke Health for helping TROSA continue to build our Healthy Community!