What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is a chemical compound present in tobacco that is absorbed by the body when tobacco is smoked, sniffed, or chewed. When you use tobacco products, nicotine quickly enters the bloodstream and is circulated to the brain, where it causes adrenaline to be released and an instant ‘buzz’ is felt.
Why is Nicotine So Addictive?
Nicotine’s effects are felt by the body almost immediately because of its ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier. This barrier normally acts as a protective filter on the brain and its sensitive receptors, but nicotine (and other drugs like it) are able to sneak through, activating otherwise regulated pleasure sensors and reward pathways. In simpler terms, nicotine causes the brain to release chemicals that make you feel good, as well as associate this positive sensation with the source – tobacco. The effects of nicotine are felt instantaneously but dissipate very quickly, causing the smoker to continue smoking to maintain pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms typically begin within a few hours after the last dose, and can include:
- Cognitive and attention deficits
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased appetite
Another factor that makes Nicotine so addictive is not physical, but behavioral. Because nicotine’s effects are fast-acting and fast-fading, tobacco users tend to develop behavioral habits associated with their addiction, such as smoking while driving. When a smoker tries to quit, not only are they physically craving the nicotine itself, but they are also psychologically craving the experience associated with it. These habits become an integral part of their daily routine, and breaking them takes more than just a patch on the arm.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Nicotine Addiction, the skilled therapists at A New Start, Inc. can help. With behavioral therapy as part of an addiction management program at A New Start, Inc., you will learn how to change these addictive “routines” and work past old habits. To learn more about Nicotine Addiction Treatment with A New Start, Inc. please call us at (844) TALK-ANS.