What You Need to Know about Nicotine Addiction

Did you know that cigarette smoking has been recognised as the biggest sources of preventable diseases, illnesses and early death in the entire world today? This statistic comes from the American Lung Association (ALA), who also state that “smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco’s carcinogens.” This shows that nicotine addiction doesn’t only affect the person actually using it but also those closest to them as well.

In this article, we’re going to tell you what you need to know about nicotine addiction and also, what can be done to help those who are addicted to it.

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is a highly addictive, toxic chemical found in the leaves of the tobacco plant. Nicotine enters the body through the skin, the nose, the mouth and the lungs. The effects that this narcotic substance has are almost instantaneous, depending on how it is taken. In fact, nicotine is so addictive that when cigarette smoke is inhaled, it reaches the brain faster than drugs that enter the body intravenously.

Why is Nicotine so Addictive?

While the physical effects of nicotine do play a huge role in its addictiveness, one of the main reasons why so many people can’t break the habit is because it has become a part of their everyday life and almost every activity can be linked to it. For example, it’s normal for smokers to take a smoke break in the mornings, at work with breakfast or coffee and even when things get a little stressed out. Trying to stop something that has almost become the norm will seem like an enormous mountain to climb. Let’s not forget that it’s also socially accepted and legal as well! It’s because of this fact that so many people are smoking excessively, some may have not even reached their teenage years yet!

The Physical Effects of Nicotine

Nicotine affects each bodily function differently. Here’s what it can do:

  1. Diminishes appetite (and in some cases, those using nicotine will continue to abuse it in the fear of picking up weight).
  2. It raises the heart rate by 10-20 beats per minute.
  3. Increases blood pressure.
  4. Causes increased sweating, nausea and diarrhoea.

The Symptoms of Nicotine Addiction

If you are wondering if you or a loved one is addicted to nicotine, here’s how you can tell.

Being unable to stop smoking – If you or a loved one have previously attempted to stop smoking and failed, then it could be due to the fact that your body has become dependent on its chemical effects.

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms – If you or a loved one has tried to stop but feelings such as cravings, moodiness, depression, frustration and even anger got in the way, it could be a sign that there is a nicotine addiction present.

Continued smoking despite health issues – If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a lung or heart problem but still cannot seem to stop smoking, it’s a clear indication of a nicotine problem present.

Neglecting once important activities to create more time to use nicotine – It could be work, spending time with family, doing a hobby or even playing a sport. If you or a loved one starts to cut down on activities that were once enjoyed to get more time to use nicotine, then it may be time to seek professional help.

Nicotine Addiction Treatment

If you have tried many times before to quit smoking or using nicotine but simply failed, it’s not the end of the world. When someone uses any narcotic substance for a long period of time, their body will have become dependent on it and will not be able to function normally without it making quitting a tough task.

However with the right help, recovery from nicotine addiction can be achieved. There are lots of ways to treat nicotine addiction but this may not always be a good thing, as it makes the task of choosing the right treatment for you or a loved one quite tricky.

There are skin patches, nicotine gum and even nasal sprays that can help people cut down on their nicotine usage. Prescription medication is also available to help manage any withdrawal effects that may be experienced but you’ll have to see a medical professional regarding this. Attending Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings provides a therapeutic method to treat nicotine addiction and has proved to be very effective in achieving long term abstinence away from smoking. It gives those suffering with nicotine addiction to interact and learn from people in similar positions as themselves.

For more information on how you or a loved one can get nicotine addiction treatment, feel free to call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors advise you in the right direction.

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