Nicotine Treatment And Rehab

Giving up tobacco isn’t easy, but it is more possible than most people realize. There is a plethora of support and resources available to help you get over your addiction.

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Recognizing Nicotine Addiction

Because of the widespread use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and snuff, it can be difficult to spot an actual addiction to nicotine.

In 2011, 26.5 percent of the U.S. population aged 12 and older said they had used a tobacco product at least once in the month before being interviewed.

Many of these people have a nicotine addiction and are in denial. They may be social smokers who only use tobacco while they are out with friends, or they may be smokers who believe they can quit when they are ready. Recognizing the signs of an addiction to nicotine is important to overcoming denial and getting over the addiction.

Common Signs Of Addiction

  • Requiring more tobacco to feel satisfaction.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability.
  • Using tobacco in larger amounts than intended.
  • Having a desire to quit or decrease use but being unable to do so.
  • Experiencing cravings and intense urges to use tobacco.
  • Continued tobacco use despite awareness of consequences and health risks.

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Physical Symptoms

The physical symptoms of nicotine addiction are caused by withdrawal. Withdrawal from nicotine occurs because the addicted brain can no longer naturally produce adequate levels of certain chemicals, like dopamine. These symptoms can crop up in as little as two hours after not using tobacco and tend to be the worst 2-3 days after quitting.

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability and frustration
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
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Psychological Symptoms

Once a person’s brain is rewired for addiction to tobacco, scenarios that are associated with tobacco use (psychological triggers) can cause cravings for tobacco.

Common triggers for people with a nicotine addiction are driving, drinking, music, stress, work, and after meals.

The Risks Of Tobacco

Most people, including those who use tobacco, are aware of the serious health risks associated with using tobacco. There are more tobacco-related deaths each year than all deaths from illicit drugs, alcohol, car accidents and murders combined. Many people with addictions have a desire to quit because they understand the health risks. Therefore, it is unsurprising that about 70% of tobacco users have a desire to quit.

Some of the health risks associated with tobacco use include:

  • Infertility
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Mouth and esophageal cancer
  • Stroke

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Tobacco And Cancer

These are only some of the most common health risks associated with tobacco use. Carcinogenic chemicals in tobacco cause genetic changes, putting tobacco users at a higher risk for many types of cancer.

Carcinogens are cancer-causing chemicals that alter a person’s DNA. The carcinogens in tobacco may cause abnormal cell growth that can develop into cancerous tumors. Smoking causes lung cancer deaths in approximately 90% of men and 80% of women.

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Published:

Author

Jeffrey Juergens

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  • Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

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Clinically Reviewed:

Certified Addiction Professional

Theresa Parisi

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  • Theresa Parisi received her bachelor’s degree in Addiction Science and Psychology from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota in 2010. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager (CBHCM), and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) by the Florida Certification Board. Theresa is passionate about recovery having gone through addiction herself.

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  • All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.