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Smoking Addiction & Recovery Information

  • Tobacco smoke contains a stimulant nicotine which forms a strong physical and psychological chemical dependence (addiction). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that nicotine is a "very addictive drug" that can be "as addictive as heroin or cocaine." Dependence is strongest when tobacco smoke is inhaled into the lungs and increases with quantity and speed of nicotine absorption. Nicotine is typically eliminated from the body within 2 to 3 days, however, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms may last for much longer depending on the individual...
  • In small doses nicotine has a stimulating effect, increasing activity, alertness and memory. Repeat users report a pleasant relaxing effect. It also increases the heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the appetite. In large doses it may cause vomiting and nausea. Nicotine is poisonous to most animals and also to the human being.

    Nicotine seems to provide both a stimulant and a depressant effect, and it is likely that the effect it has at any time is determined by the mood of the user, the environment and the circumstances of use. Studies have suggested that low doses have a stimulant effect, whilst higher doses have depressant effect.

    Repeat users of nicotine very often develop a physical dependency to the chemical. A report released on May 16, 1988, by United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stated that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine. Physical withdrawal symptoms include irritability, headaches, anxiety, cognitive disturbances and sleep disruption. These symptoms peak at around 48-72 hours and generally cease after two to six weeks.

  • Click to expand

View Top Smoking Addiction and Recovery Answers at sharecare.com

Health Blogs

Drug abuse can mimic schizophrenia in several ways. Some drugs, like marijuana and PCP, are known to cause psychotic symptoms in some people, especially when high doses of the drugs are consumed. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, long-term drug abuse causes other symptoms that are also found in people with schizophrenia. For ... Read More »
The latest findings show that teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at greater risk of substance abuse, including smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and using illicit drugs. Adults with ADHD have a higher incidence of cigarette smoking and more problems stopping nicotine use when compared to people who do not have ... Read More »
Yes and no. There appear to be both reversible brain damage and permanent brain damage from drugs and alcohol. Abusers of these substances tend to have nutritional deficiencies, lacking essential vitamins and minerals to counteract the toxicity to the brain cells from these drugs.

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Dr. Kimberly Dennis
Psychiatrist,
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Michele Borba
Psychology

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