Is Nicotine Addictive?
Is nicotine addictive? How addictive is nicotine? It there treatment options for nicotine addiction? These are just a few of the many questions surrounding repeated tobacco use. When you use any type of tobacco products, the nicotine in them is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. After only 10 seconds of being absorbed by your blood, the nicotine is in your brain. This causes your brain to actually release adrenaline, creating feelings of energy and pleasure. This is where the powerful and cunning tobacco addiction begins.
Unfortunately, the buzz from nicotine fades very quickly and leaves the user feeling tired, probably a little down and wanting the buzz again as quickly as possible. This is what makes the user light up the next cigarette! Since the human body is able to quickly build up a high tolerance to nicotine, you have to smoke more and more cigarettes or use more and more dipping tobacco in order to get the nicotine’s good effects and also prevent withdrawal symptoms.
The up and down cycle, highs when the nicotine is present and the lows when it’s depleted, is what leads to addiction. Addiction keeps people smoking even when they want to quit, just like any other drug or alcohol.
There is research that suggests children and teenagers may be especially sensitive to nicotine, which makes it easier for them to develop a tobacco addiction. The younger tobacco users are when they start, the more likely they are to become addicted!
Cigarettes in particular are one of the most dangerous and addictive nicotine-carriers. Today’s cigarettes put more nicotine quicker than ever before into the bloodstream. Most tobacco companies also use different kinds of additives and chemicals to make the cigarettes more addictive – typically over 4000 different chemicals! They are also incredibly harmful not only to the smoker’s health but to the people around them that breathe in secondhand smoke. All of the chemicals in cigarettes mix together and form a very sticky tar. This tar gives cigarette smoke it’s strong smell and color. The tar sticks to the cilia inside of our lungs. These cilia are responsible for sweeping out germs and dirt. If the cilia are covered in tar, they can’t work right, and germs and dirt can stay in the lungs and cause serious health problems.
But there are other forms of tobacco besides cigarettes that are just as harmful. Dip and chew tobacco contain even more nicotine than cigarettes. Holding a dip in your mouth for thirty minutes can give you as much nicotine as smoking three cigarettes and using two cans of “snuff” a week gives you as much nicotine as smoking almost two packs of cigarettes.
Just like other drugs such as heroin, alcohol and cocaine, there are typically withdrawal symptoms when a user of tobacco tries to quit.
- Intense cravings for cigarettes and other sources of nicotine
Fortunately, withdrawal symptoms from nicotine are typically short-lived and pass given time, usually less than a week. But that varies between individuals. Withdrawals are definitely the most uncomfortable part of quitting, like with any addictive substance, but the real challenge is beating the long-term mental cravings and staying away from tobacco completely.
If you or a loved one needs nicotine addiction treatment, consider staying here with us at Restore LA. Starting off your new year immersed in nicotine addiction recovery could be a great way to establish a strong recovery base. Our patients tell us that they leave Restore LA feeling better than they have in years, and they are ready to take the next step in their lives. We have all of the tools needed to provide you or your loved one with a safe, warm, comfortable and successful time.