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Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine addiction is a result of smoking or chewing tobacco products. The Center for Disease Control lists tobacco use as the "leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $50 billion in direct medical costs." Second hand smoke also affects everyone around the smoker, especially children.

Symptoms

Symptoms of nicotine addiction include the inability to concentrate, irritability, frustration, insomnia, agitation and aggressive feelings when you are not getting more nicotine. Studies have shown that nicotine withdrawal is very similar to withdrawing from cocaine or heroin. Addiction can affect you in other ways too; travel may be severely restricted because of modern no smoking laws on, for example, air planes.

Causes

Nicotine binds to the cholinergic receptors on brain cells, which causes the release of dopamine. This is a precursor to serotonin production which makes you feel good, which in turn makes it very difficult to stop. Clinical addiction sets in after three or four months of use. In this respect it is very similar to the other common vice - alcohol addiction.

Cautions

There is not really any doubt that using tobacco products can cause cancer, emphysema and other diseases that can ultimately result in death. Beating your nicotine addiction may be the most challenging thing in your life, but it is possible and these days there are lots of specially set up organizations, many government run, who will help you through your addiction.

Herbal Treatments

While there is no evidence that herbs can actually cure your addiction, we do know that certain herbs have properties that will help you feel better and put you in a better position to fight the addiction. The herbs listed below all have properties that will be beneficial to you in your fight. It may be a case of trying each one in turn to find which ones help with your particular treatment. A good herbalist will be able to expand on the benefits of each of these and construct a good detoxification program.

Nicotine patches may help you by allowing a measured amount of nicotine into the blood stream. The amount can be gradually reduced until you are free of your nicotine addiction.

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