Any dangerous substance has the potential to be addictive. While drugs like heroin and cocaine pose obvious threats, substances like nicotine are just as addictive. If you’re trying to stop using nicotine, you already know how challenging this is. Find out what causes nicotine addiction, why it’s dangerous, and how to permanently overcome it below.
What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is a chemical compound found in tobacco. Overall, it’s one of the biggest reasons cigarettes and cigars are so addictive. Every time you smoke a cigarette, you’re ingesting nicotine. Over time, it’s no surprise so many people can’t stop smoking cigarettes.
Additionally, nicotine is a stimulant. When ingested, it leads to a short-term feeling of pleasure and increased heart rate. Nicotine affects the brain’s neurotransmitters as well. Just like any drug, it changes the reward center circuitry, meaning those psychological cravings are what keep you using.
However, nicotine isn’t exclusively in tobacco products. It’s also a product which helps people stop smoking. While these alternatives may be better than smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, they still don’t solve nicotine addiction. Breaking the dependence is harder than many people think.
Signs of Nicotine Dependence
If you smoke cigarettes, vape, or rely on anti-smoking measures like nicotine gum and patches, you most likely have a nicotine addiction. The best way to determine this is to stop using it. If you regularly smoke 10 cigarettes a day, see what happens after 10 or 12 hours without a cigarette.
Most people who attempt this go through withdrawal symptoms. While we usually associate withdrawal with alcohol or drug addiction, it absolutely applies to nicotine addiction as well. Common symptoms include insomnia, irritability, anxiety, physical discomfort, and strong cravings.
Factors That Cause Addiction to Nicotine
Although nicotine is highly addictive, not everyone who ingests it develops an addiction. There are a number of factors that effect whether or not a person forms nicotine dependence. These include genetics, health, and societal factors.
Additionally, there’s a strong genetic component to addiction. Some individuals have a biological predisposition to it. This explains why some people develop addiction to cigarettes after just one, and others can occasionally smoke without issue.
Health, particularly psychological, play a role in addiction development. Societal factors, such as peer pressure and availability, may also impact addiction rates.
Nicotine is often one of several substances individuals abuse. For example, those struggling with a drug addiction might also battle with nicotine addiction. Fortunately, treating both types of substance abuse is possible.
Overcoming Nicotine Addiction at 1st Step Behavioral Health
Fight back against your addiction with 1st Step Behavioral Health’s help. The right resources and treatment help you conquer addiction and embrace lifelong recovery. Our available treatment methods available include:
Nicotine addiction is severe, especially when combined with another addiction. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you’ll find freedom from addiction. Start conquering your addiction today by calling (866) 971-5531.