Nicotine is a stimulant that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants. Addiction to this stimulant is called “nicotine addiction.” Nicotine is also found in tobacco plant. Smoking is the most common form of nicotine consumption and cigarettes, pipes, and cigars are some ways to inhale nicotine through smoking. Other than smoking, people also consume tobacco products that can be chewed, placed inside the mouth, or snorted and this way of nicotine consumption is even more dangerous. Nicotine was also used as an insecticide in the early twentieth century and during this usage, several cases of nicotine poisoning were recorded. If nicotine is somehow ingested, the small intestine quickly absorbs it and symptoms are visible within minutes to four hours of consumption. Severe exposure might result in death also. The addiction to nicotine can be physical, mental, or even behavioural. Physical addiction means the users crave the chemical. Mental addiction implies that users consciously crave the effects of nicotine. Behavioural addiction implies that users accustom themselves to take it in certain situations or times, such as after meals or when under stress. For these users, consuming nicotine is related to the action of eating meals and thus becomes a part of their daily activities. Addiction to nicotine generally means addiction to tobacco products which produce tars and carcinogens in smoke and thus become even more dangerous.
Nicotine is very addictive in nature, even infrequent use results in addiction. Nicotine is classified as a stimulant as it stimulates body systems, which might sound a good thing, but it does more harm to the body than it benefits. Everyone knows this but, so many people are addicted to nicotine, irrespective of literacy. What is the cause of the addiction? When nicotine reaches the brain, it increases the release of neurotransmitters, which regulate mood and behaviour. One of such neurotransmitter is 'Dopamine”, which is also called 'reward centre' of the brain. Dopamine causes improved mood and feelings of pleasure. Nicotine increases the levels of beta-endorphin, which reduces anxiety.These effects are the main reason that people get addicted to nicotine and thus tobacco products. Consumption might simply start as a thrilling experience with friends for young people, but it is very easy to get addicted.
There are medications that can help in quitting smoking or at least in lessening the cravings. Nicotine replacement therapy via patches, gums or inhalers is also another option, which help to defeat the addiction in a slow and methodical manner. People get addicted to nicotine because of dopamine, so taking antidepressants also help as they increase dopamine production. They should be taken strictly as per doctor’s prescription only. When a person is trying to quit, there are some coping skills which aid in the process. These include regular exercise, choosing snacks that keeps both mouth and hands busy, choosing healthy meals, removing all tobacco products from vicinity, avoiding situations that might trigger a relapse. Setting realistic goals and rewarding oneself also helps. Another way of overcoming the addiction is with the help of support groups. Support groups have people facing the same challenges and they will be helpful in teaching coping skills and keeping the person motivated. Other solutions like hypnosis, acupuncture, herbs, essential oils are also available, but it is important to study the safety and efficacy of each option before trying.
The best way to prevent the addiction is to avoid nicotine consumption, that implies avoiding tobacco products. Making the children aware of the harmful effects of tobacco in schools is really very important. Efforts should be made in the initial stages or when the dependence is low to stop the consumption, so that the dependence doesn’t become high. Most people become addicted even without realizing it. Everyone should be aware of the pattern of transitions from initial to higher stages, so that they can take help in the initial stages only.
Addicted users who are trying to overcome the addiction experience withdrawal effects. These include intense cravings for nicotine, tingling in the hands and feet, sweating, nausea, cramping, headaches, sore throat and coughing, difficulty in concentrating, depression, weight gain, irritability, anxiety, and fatigue. These symptoms peak during the first week but each passing day will get easier. In most cases, the symptoms go away in two weeks’ time, but some people might experience the withdrawal effect for months. One should be alert to sudden cravings, which are common even after the symptoms subside. Having strong willpower and discipline helps in such times.
Smoking is a habit that can easily become an addiction. There are two aspects to this; the physical addiction of holding a cigarette in your hands and the addiction to nicotine. Most people believe that by substituting cigarettes for other forms of nicotine, such as chewing tobacco or snuff, one may wean oneself off cigarettes. However, this is not always the case. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances. It is a colourless, natural liquid that turns brown when burnt. When exposed to air, it emits the odor of tobacco.
Nicotine enters the body through the mucosal lining of the nose and mouth or the skin. Depending on how it is consumed, either in the form of cigarettes or by chewing tobacco, it travels through the blood stream, accumulating in the blood and brain. When smoking, nicotine can reach the brain within 10 seconds of being inhaled. On the other hand, when smoked through a pipe, nicotine is absorbed at a much slower rate. This is because it enters the body through the mouth and not the nose.
By sharing the ill effects of nicotine with a perosn who is addicted to it, will not inspire him or her give up the habit. The easy availability of nicotine products such as cigarettes and tobacco does not help either. Thankfully, there are a number of psychiatric treatments that can be used to treat nicotine dependence. These include counselling, medication, group therapy, hypnosis and behavioral training. The aim here is to make the person feel more confident of his own ability to stay away from nicotine. In addition to this, the support of his family and friends is crucial.
Nicotine replacement therapy may also be used. In this case, instead of smoking a cigarette, the person may be given gums to chew on or a patch that delivers a slow dose of nicotine to the body. The dosage here depends on the amount the person smokes and reduces with time. This can help the person wean off nicotine. However, it is important to undergo this treatment under a doctor’s advice as people may get addicted to this form of nicotine as well.
When it comes to nicotine dependence, some people may require therapy for 6 months while others need therapy for longer. Relapse is common and hence provisions need to be made for an efficient support system and a mode to measure progress.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Addiction can be considered as a behavioural change where a craving for something specific intensifies to such an extent that the consequences are ignored. Addiction controls the brain by diverting it in such a way that it registers only pleasure and does not give any importance to other standard drives like motivation and learning. In general, breaking up an addiction is difficult, but it is not impossible and with strong determination, addiction can be broken.
Effects of Addiction
In general, people are subjected to addiction will not have self-control over what they do. If addiction is not treated or diagnosed on time, it may reach harmful proportions. Addiction is not only related to consumption of alcohol and drugs. It may include other habits too, that cannot be controlled. Sometimes even having a particular craving for a fruit or a vegetable can be termed as an addiction. Among other things, the most harmful can be the usage of drugs, sexual pleasures and other effects that over a period of time can become uncontrollable.
How a person can get addicted?
A human brain registers all types of pleasures in the same way they register a joy from a psychoactive drug, sexual encounter, monetary rewards or a satisfying meal. When any of these things happen, the human brain releases a neurotransmitter dopamine in the nerve cells. If these habits become regular, the enzymes will be released in high quantities leading to the addiction problem.
Drugs usage leads to addiction within a short period of time. Consumption of almost all types of drugs, starting from nicotine to heroin leads to a powerful surge of dopamine in the nucleus accumbency leading to high addiction. Addiction is not exactly a disease, but it is a condition that can occur at any age. It is likely to occur more during the young age where the required maturity is yet to be gained. So it is advisable to be careful during your adolescent period as this is the time when you are more vulnerable.
Various medical tests can diagnose addiction. People subjected to addiction can be treated easily by proper medications and therapies. If addiction is in the initial stage, it can be quickly addressed by counselling process, and if it is severe, then the counselling sessions along with certain medications are needed to curb the addiction habit. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Nicotine addiction or tobacco addiction refers to an acute dependence upon tobacco products primarily due to the presence of the nicotine drug. In other words, nicotine addiction refers to an inability to stop using tobacco products despite the knowledge and awareness that it is harmful to you. While nicotine only induces addiction, it is the presence of other substances in tobacco which makes it damaging and injurious to health.
Nicotine has the tendency to produce effects in the brain, both physical as well as mind altering, that give temporary satisfaction. This is precisely why people get hooked into the habit of tobacco consumption, which eventually leads to addiction. Unfortunately, stopping tobacco use immediately can also lead to several withdrawal symptoms, like agitation and restlessness.
The main reason why tobacco is so addictive is due to the fact that nicotine releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine in the reward centre of the brain, which in turn improves your mood and gives you temporary pleasure.
Causes of nicotine addiction can either be physical or behavioral, for instance situations or feelings, which make you crave for tobacco. These include:
Symptoms of nicotine addiction include:
Psychological disorders such as familial trouble, personality or childhood disorders, anxiety or depression are more common than we think. If not treated timely they can result in in terminal diseases. Therefore it is important to consult the best psychologist in Bangalore. Here is list of top 10 psychologist in Bangalore:
M.Sc - Psychotherapy
Ms. Sandhya C is a Psychologist with 4 years of experience and is one of the most trusted Psychologists in Bangalore. She is known for her treatment of anger management, adult counseling, abnormal behavior, drug de-addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder, cognitive behavioral, grief and Premarital Counseling. She is currently practicing at J P Nagar Diagnostics & Health Centre, Bangalore.
Consultation fees: ₹500
2. Ms. Geetha.G
Master Of Science In Counseling & Psychotherapy
Ms. Geetha G. has over 9 years of experience and is a reputed counselling psychologist working with Dr. Levine Memorial Hospital, Bangalore. She has a wide range of services including abnormal behaviour, adult counselling, nicotine de-addiction and anger management.
Consultation fees: ₹750
Msc - Clinical Psychology
Dr. Syeda is a consultant psychologist and hypnotherapist from Bangalore. She is known for her seminars on stress management, psychological disorders and music therapy in the corporate sector. She is an expert in psychological and psychotherapy, stress, family therapy and anger management, child and personal development and learning disability. She is currently associated with Apollo Spectra.
Consultation fees: ₹2000
Masters In Clinical Psychology, Diploma In Counselling Skills, NLP
Dr. Hema Sampath is a counseling psychologist and runs a counseling center called regenerating lives, a new beginning. She has been practicing as a counselor for 11 years. Her areas of expertise are adult and couple psychotherapy, stress and anger management, marital and adult counselling.
Consultation fees: ₹1000
MA - Psychology, M.Phil - Mental Health & Social Psychology, PhD - Psychology
Dr. Lakshmi is a consulting Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Counsellor & Yogic scholar. She has successfully handled cases of intensive psychological disorders using her advanced and effective therapies. She is currently practicing at Jain University, Bangalore.
Consultation fees: ₹1200
PhD - Clinical Psychology, M.Phil - Clinical Psychology
Dr. Renu E George is a popular clinical psychologist in Bangalore. She is currently affiliated with Brain To Mind: Center For Psychological Assessment & Psychotherapy in Arekere, Bangalore and has 13 years of experience. She is a member of Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists. Her areas of counselling are psychological assessment, premarital counseling, psychotherapy, and executive functions training for children.
Consultation fees: ₹900
Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Dr. Saul is practicing as a counselling psychologist at Saul Pereira Clinic, Bangalore. He has been practicing for over 45 years now and has successfully dealt in cases related to stress, addiction of drugs and premarital counselling and parenting issues. Other areas of his interest are abnormal behavior, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, OCD management and anger issues.
Consultation fees: ₹1000
Diploma in Counselling Skills, Basic skills & Counselling, Couple and Family Counselling, Basic course in integrated clinical hypnosis CHI
Ms. Samiksha Jain is known for warmth, care and personal touch in her counselling . She uses some advance techniques for her therapeutic counseling. She has an experience of over 10 years and is currently practicing at Sahara Counselling Services. Before this she was associated with command hospital, sunshine autism school, Taj vivanta and parikrama center for learning. She is a member of international transactional analysis association.
Consultation fees: ₹1000
Diploma in psychology, PVA ayurveda
Mr. Senthilkumar L is a Certified Ayurveda therapist and a psychologist. He specializes in counselling related to Relationship counseling, Marriage/ Couple counseling, Stress Management, Pre-marriage assessment, Work Life Balance issues. He also provides ayurvedic therapies for wellness of body and mind . Other than this he is also a Career and Life coach. He practices at live to life balance.
Consultation fees: ₹500
M.Sc - Applied Psychology
Dr. Sadhana Mishra is a reputed Clinical Psychologist and Health Psychologist in Mumbai. She has experience of solving various issues using psychoanalysis like treatment of Learning Disorders, Insomnia, Memory problems. Pre-marital Counselling, and treating psychological disorders like anxiety and depression are some other areas of interest.
Consultation fees: ₹800
Eating healthy food item like fruits, green leafy vegetables, salad etc. We have always been hearing this from our elders about how a healthy body is key to a healthy mind. Trying to define health in a sentence is possible, but not justifiable because it is an umbrella term for a lot of aspects of our life. Being healthy is that state of our existence where we are happy, content and at the epitome of our fitness. Life is too short to fret over things that make us unhappy, so taking decisions that would make us content mentally and physically is the first step to attaining a healthy lifestyle. Now, one could easily start a debate here stating how eating unhealthy food or indulging in unhealthy habits also make people happy. Yes, they do, but that is a momentary gratification and with one single life, it is essential to think long-term.
This article will have certain tips that could help an individual fall right on track if he/she wants to jumpstart their healthy lifestyle.
There are numerous tips for a healthy lifestyle, but one important advice is to avoid alcohol and also other addictive substances like nicotine (which means smoking cigarettes).