It’s the addiction no one talks about, and for which almost no one considers rehab. Yet it contributes to more deaths than any other addiction: nicotine addiction. Worldwide, tobacco kills as many as 7 million people annually. Ultimately, about half of tobacco users will die due to their addiction. This makes nicotine one of the most urgent public health threats, yet little is being done to slow the epidemic of smoking. Legislators often treat addiction to nicotine as a moral issue, stigmatizing smokers by banning smoking in public. Doctors tell smokers to quit, but offer little in the way of actual help.
If you’re a smoker, you need to quit now. It’s not too late. Yet quitting can prove difficult. We can help. Here’s what you need to know about nicotine addiction.
Over time, as your brain becomes more addicted to nicotine, it changes the way it responds to the drug. Eventually, your brain begins treating nicotine as a basic necessity, and responds violently to its withdrawal. Addicts who attempt to quit feel like they’re dying. That’s how nicotine keeps them using, even in spite of terrible health consequences.
In this regard, nicotine is no different from any other addictive drug. But nicotine comes with some additional features that make it particularly addictive. Some of the reasons that nicotine is so difficult to quit include:
• It’s legal. This means addicts don’t have to take legal or financial risks to use it, and can publicly smoke without being treated like pariahs.
• It’s cheap.
• It’s a behavioral habit. Smokers take puffs off of cigarettes hundreds of times each day. They may associate smoking with driving, working, or having a meaningful conversation. This amplifies the addiction. Smoking becomes a ritual.
• Nicotine attaches to nicotine receptors in the brain, and produces a high so mild it’s barely noticeable. Smokers feel better, but they don’t feel “high.” So they don’t realize that nicotine is changing the way their brain works. They think they’re just enjoying smoking.
Nicotine withdrawal can be painful and depressing. It takes about a week for nicotine to leave the body, and up to a month for cravings to get better. Because smoking is legal and omnipresent, smokers must develop strategies for fighting temptation for the rest of their lives. That’s not easy. This might be why most smokers relapse—often in the first days, but sometimes months later.
Research shows that smokers who manage to quit for a year tend to remain quit. So if you can just hang on, it will get better.
Many smokers tell themselves that the damage has already been done. It’s too late for them, they think. They’re already sick because of smoking, so might as well enjoy the time they have left. Not so. Quitting smoking now, no matter how long you have smoked, is one of the best things you can do for your health. Your body can recover. Your lungs and heart can heal. Indeed, the more damage smoking has done to your body, the more important it is to quit. Just a few months after quitting, your lungs begin healing. Within a few years, your cardiovascular and other risk factors are similar to that of a nonsmoker. Don’t believe the lies of smoking. It’s never too late to quit. You owe it to yourself, and to your family.
As with any other addiction, the most effective strategy for quitting smoking is to go cold turkey. Nicotine replacement therapy might help in the short-term, but ultimately it replaces one addiction with another. Some tips that can help you quit once and for all include:
• When you’re experiencing an intense craving, tell yourself that this is an investment in staying quit. If you give in now, you’ll have to start over.
• Remind yourself that each time you’ve quit, you’ve learned something. Don’t view failed attempts as failures. They’re opportunities to learn.
• Consider therapy to help you understand your dependence on nicotine and embrace strategies for dealing with stress.
• Join a support group.
• Consider inpatient rehab if your addiction is particularly strong.
• Exercise. Movement stimulates endorphins that can improve your mood and help you fight temptation. Moreover, exercise will be easier without nicotine.
• Spend the money you would have spent on cigarettes on something you’ve long wanted, or put the funds in a savings account.
• Call a quit assistance hotline.
• Tell loved ones you plan to quit, and ask them to hold you accountable.
At Future Now Detox, we’re proud to offer NAD/Brain Restoration+ to heal addicts in body, mind, and soul. NAD is a vital coenzyme that is often low in addicts. Our intravenous NAD drips help restore NAD levels to their normal, healthy state. This reduces the power of detox, and can make it easier to quit by healing your brain.
Smoking, like any other addiction, can alter NAD levels. This means that NAD/BR+ can be a powerful antidote to the pain of addiction. Many smokers report no longer craving nicotine following treatment. We offer safe and effective treatment, including mobile BR+ in your home, under the compassionate and careful supervision of a licensed nurse. It’s time you start living the life you deserve. Let us help you recover from smoking once and for all.
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