There are several options available when it comes to treating nicotine addiction. Read this article to enrich your knowledge on nicotine addiction and ways of treating it.
Nicotine is a harmful substance which is found in tobacco. When you use any tobacco products, then the nicotine enters the blood stream through the skin, mucous membranes and lungs and reaches the brain in no time. There it alters the functioning of the brain in such a way that one finds it difficult to control the urge to stop taking nicotine.
This is known as nicotine addiction. For this reason, even though people are aware of the adverse effects of nicotine on their body, they cannot stop themselves from using them. Nicotine addiction treatment mainly helps them to deal with the difficult conditions that arise due to the psychological attachment to nicotine.
Facts About Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine inhaled through smoke moves really fast through the blood stream and reaches the brain within 10 seconds. In the brain, it stimulates release of a special neurotransmitter named dopamine. Release of large amount of this substance gives pleasure feelings that alter the mood and behavior of the smoker almost instantly and alert him mentally. However, this effect lasts for barely 40 minutes.
As the mood altering effect subsides, the smoker feels a strong urge to smoke again. When a person tries to stop using nicotine with an intention to quit the habit, he or she experiences a number of nicotine withdrawal symptoms and most of them are psychological. They include: irritability, anxiety, restlessness, depression, anger, headache, etc. In the first few days, the intensity of these symptoms is so severe that most people give up the idea of quitting it and start smoking to get relief from those annoying feelings.
Usually, a person who smokes more than 5 cigarettes a day regularly is diagnosed with nicotine addiction. There are several techniques used for treating nicotine addiction. They are as follows:
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
This is one of the most popular remedies. In this treatment, low doses of nicotine is supplied to the smoker to keep the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal at bay. There are several nicotine replacement products available that are used for this purpose. Nicotine gum, patch and lozenges are available over the counter. However, doctors mostly prescribe nicotine nasal sprays and inhalers.
When smokers stop using tobacco, the level of dopamine in the brain drops so much that they feel depressed. These products help to increase the level of dopamine in the brain at a much slower rate but without the feelings of pleasure which are often associated with smoking. These are often accompanied by suitable non-nicotine medicines that can treat depression, high blood pressure and other physical symptoms.
Acupuncture is an excellent treatment for smoking addiction. In this treatment, thin, small needles are inserted in various pressure points of the body and is allowed to stay there for few minutes. It is mainly used to decrease intensity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
A counseling program provides a lot of emotional support to the nicotine addict when he or she goes through the difficult times of nicotine withdrawal. Both individual counseling as well as group counseling are available where the user is encouraged to avoid tobacco altogether.
In this therapy, one has to attend hypnosis sessions regularly for about an hour or so. It helps the nicotine user develop a better control over his or her behavior patterns.
Along with the therapies and medicines that you are using for treatment, you can make some simple changes at home which will help . They are as follows:
- Drink Water: Every time you feel the urge to have a cigarette, drink water. Take small sips of water slowly and concentrate on the taste of the water.
- Eat Healthy: When you are trying to fight out cravings, make sure you eat healthy foods and include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Take your meals at regular intervals of time to keep your body energized. Stay away from spicy foods and beverages like coffee or beer as these substances tend to aggravate cravings.
- Start Exercising: Those who have the habit of smoking cigarettes when they are under a lot of mental stress, must exercise. Exercising eases off the tension and relaxes your mind. So, you do not feel the need to smoke
- Keep Yourself Busy: When you are doing nothing, only then you feel like having a cigarette. So, always keep some work at hand or go for walk or swimming, talk to friends so that you hardly have any free time to smoke.
- Take Some Deep Breaths: The irresistible urge to smoke hardly lasts for few minutes. After that, it subsides on its own. Those few minutes of the day are the toughest. When it strikes, start taking a few deep breaths. Inhale through the nose and fill up the lungs and hold it for a second, then exhale through the mouth. This will distract your mind from thoughts of smoking.
You may be surprised to know that millions of people try to quit the unhealthy habit of nicotine, but 90 percent of them give up in the middle and resume it all over again. Your nicotine addiction treatment is going to be successful if you stay focused on your goal throughout the course of the treatment. Write down on your paper all those reasons for which you want to stop having nicotine. Read those points once everyday to make your determination stronger when you get the temptation to have a cigarette.