Nicotine meets all the criteria for a dependence-producing drug. As a result, most people who smoke develop nicotine dependence. This makes trying to quit smoking extremely difficult, especially if a person tries to stop smoking independently. Nicotine is a very addictive, toxic, oily liquid that is the main ingredient of tobacco. Nicotine is also in a lot of commercial insecticides. It is a stimulant in small doses, but it blocks the action of both the skeletal muscle cells and autonomic nerve in large amounts. Nicotine is found in cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, hookahs, clove, and bidi cigarettes.
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Nicotine or Heroin: Which is More Addictive?
Nicotine is just as or more addictive than heroin and cocaine. Tobacco companies profit big time from creating and sustaining an addiction to tobacco. The tobacco in cigarettes is processed to make people become addicted and then develop a dependence on it. The nicotine that is in tobacco has a number of toxins in it and is more addictive than pure nicotine.
Impact of Nicotine Smoking
Cigarettes are responsible for half of the lifelong regular smokers’ deaths. This also causes an average of 22 years of life expectancy to be lost. Many of the tobacco-related diseases and premature deaths are due to the by-products of addiction.
Cigarette smoking is the primary risk factor for lung cancer. Smoking is also a cause of cancers of the larynx, mouth, oropharynx, and esophagus.
Cigarettes are a major cause of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. Smoking is a cause of peripheral vascular disease, which can lead to gangrene. Cigarettes are also a major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of developing COPD. Cigarettes are also a cause of other respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of developing these diseases.
Smoking can lead to fertility problems in both men and women. Cigarette smoking may damage the eggs and make them less likely to fertilize. In men, smoking can damage the sperm and make them less likely to fertilize an egg. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of these problems.
How Does Nicotine Work?
When a person inhales cigarette smoke, it takes 10 seconds for the nicotine to reach the brain. When nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream, it causes adrenaline and dopamine to be released (these are the brain’s feel-good chemicals). This stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse “Recent Research Sheds New Light on Why Nicotine is So Addictive” states that nicotine does not produce the kind of euphoria or impairment that many other drugs like opioids and marijuana do. People do not get high from smoking cigarettes or vaping. Yet nicotine’s powerful ability to reinforce its relatively mild rewards results in 480,000 deaths annually.
Even if nicotine isn’t as pleasurable as other drugs, there are probably a variety of reasons why it is so reinforcing. As with other drugs, nicotine stimulates dopamine release in neurons that connect the nucleus accumbens with the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, and other brain regions; this dopamine signal essentially instructs the brain to repeat the behavior of taking the drug.
In other words, a smoker associates smoking with feeling good. They get addicted to the taste, feel of the cigarette, and the hand-to-mouth or oral fixation.
Start Treatment For Drug and Alcohol Addiction at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset
Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based addiction treatment to cater to each patient’s individual needs. Our solution-focused treatment provides men, women, and families integrated and comprehensive care that is geared towards leading you on a road to long-lasting recovery. At Evoke Wellness at Cohasset, our primary goal is to make your treatment experience as comfortable as possible.
If you are having issues with any substances, let us help you. Our specialists and professionals are highly qualified and supportive and will help you start your recovery journey today. Call us today at 866.931.6429 for a better tomorrow.