Nicotine is as addictive as heroin
This is a big claim. But it’s true. So, if you cannot stop:
- smoking cigarettes
- smoking cigars
- smoking pipes
- chewing (smokeless tobacco)
- snuffing (smokeless tobacco)
…by yourself, you may need professional help.
So, what can you do?
Here, we’ll review the medical treatment of nicotine addiction. We explain how tobacco problems are diagnosed as a medical condition. You’ll learn more about the physical and mental aspects of dependence. We’ll look into how it affects your brain and body…plus signs of a problem. Then, we review the medical treatments available to you.
Finally, we invite your questions at the end of the article. In fact, we try to respond to all real life questions with a clear, prompt response. Reach out for help today! It’s only a click away.
Ready to Quit?
Call 1-877-959-0076 TODAY.
Together, We’ll Get You the Help That You Need!
Is Tobacco Addictive?
There is no such thing as a “safe” tobacco product. Even the ones that are labeled “low tar,” “naturally grown,” or “additive free,” can cause addiction and health problems. In fact, tobacco use is considered as one of the leading causes of premature death. It’s associated with 5 million deaths per year worldwide.
One sign of tobacco addiction is TOLERANCE, which means that over time you start to need to use more and more of it to feel its effects. When you first start smoking, one cigarette may be enough to make you feel queasy and dizzy. Soon you can smoke several cigarettes without any symptoms, which can lead up to smoking a pack or more each day.
Another sign of tobacco addiction is DEPENDENCE, which means that you experience physical symptoms and feel sick if you stop using. When you decide to quit or cannot obtain tobacco even for a short time, you experience unpleasant symptoms which urge you to light up as soon as tobacco is available.
TOBACCO ADDICTION causes both effects (tolerance and withdrawal), but also includes a whole range of behavioral and psychological effects, as well as health, finance, and social problems.
How do you know if you’re addicted?
Criteria for addiction to nicotine have been described by psychiatrists and psychologists. How can you know if you have a problem?
You might be at risk of tobacco addiction when:
- You feel strong, uncontrollable cravings to use tobacco.
- You smoke more than seven cigarettes a day.
- You smoke/chew tobacco despite having health problems and even when you’re sick.
- You go outside to smoke even if it’s freezing or raining.
- You cannot stop smoking or chewing, despite attempts to quit.
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit (shaky hands, sweating, irritability, rapid heart rate)
- You feel a need to smoke or chew after every meal or after long periods of time without using.
- You require tobacco products to feel “normal”.
- You give up activities or won’t attend events where smoking or tobacco use is not allowed.
- You believe that you need tobacco in order to calm your nerves, get through a stressful situation, or deal with other problems in life.
Recognize some of these signs of addiction in yourself? Need help quitting a tobacco addiction? Call us at 1-877-959-0076 to learn about tobacco addiction treatment programs and rehab options. We understand addiction. We are here to listen.
Call our helpline at 1-877-959-0076 toll-free.
We are here 24/7, ready to assist you.
Quitting Tobacco Alone?
For a start…
REMEMBER THIS: You don’t have to quit tobacco on your own!
Quitting tobacco can be extremely challenging and difficult without the help and support of others. Think about bringing the following people into your treatment plan:
A loved one
A Licensed Psychologist or Counselor
Other medical professionals (MDs, Nutritionists, Psychiatrists)
Just think of it – How many times before have you promised yourself things like:
“ I will start using less tobacco…starting tomorrow.”
“This is the last time I smoke/chew/snuff.”
“After this pack I am definitley quitting.”
…AND in the end you never do. Or you may lower or stop your use for a short period of time and then, in a moment of need, you go back to using again.
This is actually normal in terms of how our brains work to adapt to new stimuli. In the U.S., although more than 70% of tobacco users want to quit each year and 45% make a quit attempt, less than 5% in the general population are successful. When used, the tobacco high becomes associated with certain activities and triggers in your brain. As a result, the urge to smoke or chew tobacco could strike when you are doing something as simple as drinking a cup of coffee or chatting with a friend on the phone.
Take hope, friends!
There are a wide variety of treatments that can help you succeed. For example, medications and nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are available. Plus, a tobacco addiction expert can work with you to tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs and circumstances. Or, you can look into talk therapy in both group and individual settings. If you want to stop, help is
The Best Treatment For Tobacco Addiction
One of the most effective treatment approaches for tobacco addiction includes a combination of:
- Talk Therapy
Many believe that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is the best and safest way off tobacco. After all, chewing gum, skin patches, and inhalers do help to temporarily alleviate certain aspects of withdrawal.
Q: But do they really get to the root of the problem?
A: The short answer is NO.
As with any other substance of abuse, it is not enough to just quit use…the goal is to stay quit. Nicotine replacement is relatively ineffective at managing the overwhelming cravings for tobacco. Luckily, this is where professional tobacco addiction treatment programs step in to fill in the gap and help users identify the triggers of craving so they can employ strategies to prevent or avoid these urges. Addiction treatment for tobacco targets multiple aspects of addiction, including the underlying neurobiology and behavioral processes.
Quitting tobacco addiction, much like quitting any addiction, is best accomplished through the organization of highly-specialized addiction treatment programs in a supportive, motivational, and caring environment.
When you need help there are many resources you can use to break free from tobacco addiction. Call our no-cost hotline at 1-877-959-0076 TODAY for more information on getting started in tobacco addiction treatment.
How Is Tobacco Addiction Treated?
For some, addiction can be difficult to overcome when coupled with everyday stressors. This is usually one of the main reasons why people need professional help in order to quit using tobacco. Treatments are targeted towards dealing with the physical dependence, the psychological reliance on the effects of tobacco, and the behavioral aspects of tobacco use. Here is what the process of addiction treatment generally looks like.
INTAKE – The process of treating tobacco addiction usually begins with an initial evaluation and assessment of your physical and mental health state, the severity of your tobacco dependence, and your treatment goals. The results of this assessment then inform the development of a treatment plan that is tailored to your particular smoking triggers and needs.
DETOX & WITHDRAWAL – Tobacco causes uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which make it difficult to quit. One function of tobacco addiction treatment is to provide safe and monitored detoxification and guide you through withdrawal. With the help and support of doctors and nurses, detox is made more comfortable while also addressing your mental, physical, and spiritual needs.
PSYCHOLOGICAL & BEHAVIORAL TREATMENTS – Treatment for a tobacco addition requires a combination of methods, all of which help you change thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that your brain associates with tobacco use. You will likely be engaged in intensive therapy and counseling – in the context of:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Family Wellness Counseling
Group and Individual Psychotherapy
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
In addition, therapy can also involve clinically-proven holistic practices, such as:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
MEDICATIONS – The psychological and behavioral support is usually combined with pharmacological therapies to provide higher chances of long term success in recovery. A smoking cessation expert works closely with you to determine what types of NRTs or medications would be most effective for you. Examples of NRTs might include:
- Chewing gum
- Lozenges (sublingual tablets)
- Nasal sprays
- Nicotine patches
Doctors may also suggest medications such as:
- Chantix (varenicline)
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Zyban (bupropion)
AFTERCARE – Continued care and relapse prevention programs are a crucial part of the recovery process. Tobacco users tend to have high relapse rates – about 75% of people who quit tobacco relapse within the first six months. This is why a prolonged treatment period and support strategies are necessary to prevent a future relapse.
The prospect of entering tobacco addiction treatment may feel overwhelming at first. The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn as much as you can about the resources available to you for when you’re ready to take the next step towards recovery. Our hotline at 1-877-959-0076 is a free and confidential line where you talk to a trained counselor, determine the next step and find a tobacco treatment facility that suits your needs.
No Need To Fear Tobacco Withdrawal
Tobacco withdrawal symptoms usually begin a few hours after the last use, producing intense and overwhelming cravings. These symptoms peak within a few days after quitting, and subside within a few weeks.
When users abruptly stop or cut back tobacco, a host of distressing symptoms quickly occur. Common symptoms of tobacco withdrawal include:
- concentration issues
- increased appetite
- mood swings
- short attention span
- sleeping problems
- weight gain
When withdrawal symptoms set in, people are tempted to start smoking/chewing/snuffing again to relieve the distress. So, when you are trying to quit smoking, you may become discouraged if you don’t succeed at first. Don’t give up! If you aren’t successful the first time you try to quit, look at what worked or didn’t work, think of new ways to quit tobacco, and try again.
Ask yourself if it is time to quit.
If the answer is YES, then seek treatment here 1-877-959-0076.
Calling a Tobacco Hotline
Seeking help for tobacco addiction may be tricky. After all, tobacco use is widely present in our society and many view it as a choice rather than an addictive substance. This perception can leaving you feeling defeated or ashamed that you are not able to “just quit”.
We understand that quitting tobacco is not a question of moral strength or sheer will…
That is why when you CALL 1-877-959-0076, you will talk with a caring and non-judgmental person who listens and can relate to your struggles. Our staff have been trained to understand addiction as a medical condition. That’s why we offer a tobacco hotline that is:
Hotline staffers will also ask questions in order to offer strategies and information about treatment services that can best help you. You can talk openly with them about:
- Appropriate and available treatment options.
- Financing rehab and payment methods.
- Health insurance acceptance.
- How long, how often, and how much tobacco you use.
- Other mental health issues you’re battling.
- The details around rehab treatment programs and facilities.
- Tobacco addiction signs and potential side effects.
- Whether or not you’re drinking or using other drugs.
So, contact us today! The road to recovery begins with a single phone call.
How To Support Your Quitter?
If you have a person in your life (friend, family member, partner, loved one…) that is struggling to quit tobacco – they will need your help! Simple ways you can support them, include:
Assisting them in finding local support groups and classes.
Helping them locate and enter tobacco rehab programs.
Holding them accountable to their goal to quit.
Motivating them to remain abstinent from tobacco.
For more help CALL US NOW at 1-877-959-0076 to assess and evaluate a loved one’s problem. Questions we typically ask include:
- Are they using other drugs or alcohol along with tobacco?
- How do they abuse tobacco (snorting, smoking, chewing)?
- How long they’ve been showing signs of addiction?
- How much can they afford to pay for treatment?
- Is insurance an option?
- Could you (and/or other close family members) help them out financially?
- Does the addicted individual suffer from any mental, behavioral, or co-occurring disorders?
But once a loved one starts treatment – your job is not done. In fact, your support is welcomed and valued throughout the process. So, let them know you think it’s great they’re considering quitting and that you’re ready to help. You may say things such as:
“I’m so proud of you for trying to quit smoking. I am here to help you make it happen.”
“Quitting smoking will be hard, but I know you can do it. Have you set a quit date?”
“You’re not in this alone. Even if it gets tough, I’ll be here for you.”
REMEMBER: Lectures, nagging, and scolding won’t help your friend or family member quit tobacco. It might just put you on their bad side, and they may not come to you for help when they really need it. Instead, try using the Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT). CRAFT is designed to help family members intervene in such a way that they keep open communication and continue to care for their addicted loved one, while avoiding unhealthy behaviors like enabling and sacrificing their own self-care.
Relapse Prevention Programs and Ongoing Recovery
Remaining tobacco-free in the long term is a greater challenge than quitting. Tobacco addiction can lead to frequent episodes of chronic relapse even after quitting, which is why most people require multiple attempts before they can quit for good.
A key component of long term recovery from tobacco addiction is the pursuit of healthy activities that make taking smoking back up much less likely. Relapse prevention coaching should also be part of your discharge process.
Relapse prevention techniques for tobacco addiction should involve:
Coaching in addressing slips.
Developing a lifestyle that’s healthy and includes exercise and diet changes.
Developing coping skills and stress-management skills.
Learning about the relapse and slip-up process.
Reminding tobacco users not to test the limits of their recovery.
Training in identifying triggers and high-risk situations.
This is a long task list, which is why aftercare help extends into the weeks and months that follow formal treatment. You can receive this ongoing support in the form of:
Support groups (Nicotine Anonymous)
Alumni support activities and groups
These elements will help you continue to work on your recovery, so you don’t slip back into the habit of using tobacco again.
Ready to Quit Tobacco?
Call 1-877-959-0076 TODAY.
Our staff is available 24/7 and all calls are confidential.