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Help for nicotine addiction

Nicotine addiction help

Once formed, nicotine addiction is one of the hardest habits to kick. So what can you do in order to start treating nicotine addiction? How can you help a loved one get nicotine addiction help?

Here, we go over practical methods you can use to help nicotine addiction. You’ll find tips on beating nicotine addiction so you can address the psychological and physical need to smoke as well as start to plan a nicotine withdrawal timeline for yourself. Then, we invite your questions about nicotine addiction treatments at the end.

Getting help for nicotine addiction

Nicotine is a potent alkaloid liquid that naturally occurs in tobacco. But nicotine is both psychologically and physically addictive, and symptoms of nicotine addiction include increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, and continued use despite negative consequences.  Nicotine addiction can be very harmful to one’s physical and mental health. In addiction to becoming physically dependent on nicotine, psychological dependence is also possible. While overdosing is not common among users, you can pass out from physical exhaustion or the body can overheat after smoking too much. In this scenario it is almost rare for one to die, but if nicotine overdose does occur, seek medical assistance immediately.

How to help nicotine addiction

There are several ways to help nicotine addiction. Possible therapies correspond to three phases of treatment: withdrawal, physical stabilization and psychological treatment.

1. Nicotine withdrawal treatment

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Many healthcare professionals believe nicotine addiction to be both psychological and physical. Just like other physically addictive drugs, nicotine withdrawal causes a decline in dopamine production and other similar stimulatory neurotransmitters. This is why nicotine withdrawal can be very demanding on the body. When nicotine is no longer in the system the body responds with increased hunger and caloric intake, increased desire for sugary sweets, and constipation or diarrhea. During nicotine replacement therapy, you are provided low doses of nicotine to help ease the withdrawal symptoms…without the toxins found in tobacco smoke

2. Physical stabilization

The physical stabilization during nicotine withdrawal can occur weeks after initial nicotine withdrawal. However, be advised that psychological symptoms of addiction can arise and become more apparent. Long term use of nicotine can cause symptoms such as high blood pressure, clogged blood vessels, cancer of the mouth, throat, or lungs, stomach ulcers, headaches, and depression. Avoid the compulsion to use nicotine again by seeking help from support groups, and addressing the mental compulsion to smoke or obsess over thinking about smoking.

3. Psychological nicotine addiction treatment

Nicotine addiction is often regarded as more physical than it is mental. However, psychological effects of nicotine are very apparent, often causing anxiety, increased cravings for nicotine, drowsiness or sleeping problems, and problems concentrating. Nicotine cessation programs such as counseling services, psychotherapy groups, and stop smoking classes can help you address the mental addiction to nicotine. Joining a support group for help is always an option. Additionally, telephone helplines are usually available throughout the day even on nights and weekends for those in need.

How to help a nicotine addict

If you know someone whose addiction to nicotine is having a negative impact on their life, you can address the issue by intervening. Offer to assist the person in getting help and stick by their side when going through the treatment process. Acknowledging addiction and the harm it causes to their life and the lives around them is important for nicotine addicts. Bring up real life examples and try talking them into getting help through a treatment program. Getting help now can help reduce their risk of life threatening problems in the future.

You can receive help for nicotine addiction by consulting with:

  • A family doctor
  • A trusted community or religious leader
  • Drug addiction psychologists or psychiatrists
  • Drug addiction support groups near you
  • Stop smoking classes

Nicotine addiction help and helplines

Receiving the right help for nicotine addiction is crucial during the process of seeking treatment. You can contact 1-800-227-2345 to get connected to the American Cancer Society’s Quitline.

Help with nicotine addiction questions

If you still have questions about getting help for nicotine addiction, please feel free to comment below and we will get back to you promptly. We try to respond to all questions personally.

Reference sources: NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse: Tobacco Addiction (Nicotine)
MedlinePlus: Nicotine and tobacco

Photo credit: Take Charge, Live Well State of Ohio health campaign

Leave a Reply

3 Responses to “Help for nicotine addiction
Tina Mears
2:00 am October 21st, 2013

Iam addicted to the nicotine gum I buy 320 pcs a week and chew most of them is causing a lot of problems with body order bad breath . any suggestions ?

7:15 pm October 21st, 2013

Hello Tina. You’ll need some psychological help to cope with the cravings. Consult the APA’s Psychologist Locator Tool and get connected with a local counselor who can teach you some behavioral techniques, as well as get to the root of the issue. If the gum has become a trigger, you might want to try the patch instead.

Nick
2:40 am February 28th, 2016

I’m searching Liquid Nicotine for a class presentation and trying to find information about psychological and physical dependence. I have found information about nicotine dependence and have read it mainly causes psychological dependence. I was wondering if Liquid nicotine is the same as regular nicotine and causes the same kind of dependence. I know it depends on the person taking it so either could happen but not sure on what is most likely to happen and when someone may go through that. If you could help me with some information for this presentation would be greatly appreciated. This is the question my teacher asked “Discuss if your drug is causes tolerance, craving, and withdrawal. Does your drug cause psychological and/or physical dependence?”

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