With increasing number of people leading fast-paced and stressful lives, getting addicted to something that makes you feel good for a moment could be easy. But only later on do you realise the ill-effects of that addiction. We know that tobacco can make us more susceptible to diseases like cancer, but we still pick up the habit, perhaps due to cleverly marketed strategies?
The good feelings that result when an addictive drug is present, and the bad feelings when it's absent, make breaking any addiction very difficult. Smoking is a common addiction, because it leads to changes in the brain that make people want to use it more and more.
Historically, nicotine addiction has been one of the hardest addictions to break. In fact nicotine is not only as addictive as alcohol, tea and coffee, but even more addictive then psychoactive drugs like heroin and cocaine.
As a result tobacco addiction is the second-leading cause of death in the world. Nicotine meets the criteria of a potent psychoactive drug, as you can see in the image below. Depending on nicotine at various levels, leads to addiction.
Nicotine induces euphoria, serves as a reinforcer of its use, and leads to nicotine withdrawal syndrome when it is absent. Nicotine acts a stimulant and also a depressant.
The association between depression and smoking is well-known, many times the decreased ability to quit smoking can lead the person into depression. Relapse rates of major depression are higher after smoking cessation.
What are the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?
- Depressed mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased heart rate
- Increased appetite or weight gain
Quitting an addiction might sound difficult, but if you want to lead a happy life without the intake, then the time is now, tomorrow may be too late!