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Nicotine Addiction Is a Bigger Deal Than You May Think

Addiction Treatment

If you’re a smoker, you’ve probably told yourself at some point that you could quit anytime. However, nicotine is highly addictive, and breaking the habit is tougher than you might realize. In fact, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 57.277 million people use tobacco or nicotine products, such as vapes. Read on to understand why nicotine use is a big deal and how proper addiction treatment can help you successfully quit smoking.

Nicotine Changes Your Brain

Nicotine acts on the nicotinic receptors in your brain, triggering the release of dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters. This gives you a little rush and a sense of relaxation. Over time, your brain actually adapts to expect nicotine in order to function normally. This is what makes nicotine physically addictive; your neurons essentially become dependent on the drug. Suddenly stopping disrupts brain function, which leads to withdrawal symptoms like cravings, anxiety, irritability, and trouble concentrating. This is why willpower alone often isn’t enough to overcome nicotine addiction.

Smoking Also Becomes a Habit

On top of being chemically addictive, smoking becomes ingrained as a habit over time. You associate lighting up with activities like drinking coffee, talking on the phone, driving, or taking work breaks. The ritual itself becomes extremely hard to break. That’s why addiction treatment focuses on nicotine withdrawal as well as disrupting your ingrained smoking routines. Professionals teach healthy coping strategies to replace smoking habits.

Quitting Usually Requires Help

Because of nicotine’s complex addictive properties, most smokers require help to successfully quit. Cold turkey attempts often fail because withdrawal symptoms cause intense cravings, which lead to relapse within days or weeks. Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy helps manage symptoms but doesn’t address the rituals or conditioned behaviors. On the other hand, professional counseling and support are recommended for managing behavioral aspects. Addiction treatment programs take a comprehensive approach to both the physical and psychological components of nicotine addiction.

With commitment and the right help, you can overcome your nicotine addiction for good. Don’t underestimate the power of counseling combined with medication, nicotine replacement, and lifestyle changes. A comprehensive approach addresses all aspects of this challenging habit. You’ll be amazed at how empowered and confident you feel as a nonsmoker. If you’re ready to obtain support, reach out to Peace Medical to learn more.

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