Nicotine dependence happens when a person is addicted to nicotine. It triggers the -receptors in brain and gives pleasure but the effect is for short duration so a person feels need to take it again. The symptoms of with drawl of nicotine tend to appear when a person doesn’t take the dose needed by body to feel good. These symptoms include some physical and mental changes.
Tobacco taken in any quantity can lead to its dependence. Symptoms of its dependence include:
- Unable to stop smoking
- Smoking, despite health issues
- When trying to stop, with drawl symptoms appear: irritable mood, anxiousness, agitation, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, lack of concentration, increased appetite, diarrhea or constipation, strong cravings.
- Not taking part in social activities.
In the brain, nicotine causes the neurotransmitters (dopamine) to release which in turn improves mood and helps causing the pleasure feelings. The more nicotine is smoked, the more it is needed and it eventually become a part of person’s life.
Some things that cause urg to take mnicotine are as follows:
- Car driving
- While talking on call
- Alcohol consumption
- Having coffee
- Gathering with friends
- Lung cancer- most important
- Some other cancers- smoking is the main cause of many cancers to develop
- Heart health problems
- Impotence and infertility
- Diabetes, eye problems, problems in pregnancy, cold/flu, tooth and gum diseases.
The diagnosis can be made through history, a questionnaire is to be filled by the patient which helps the doctor in the assessment of degree of nicotine dependence. This will help a doctor to make a proper treatment plan.
Stopping the habit of smoking gets difficult in usual smokers. Medications along with some counselling helps the person to get rid of nicotine dependence.
Medications: Nicotine replacement therapy is given as an alternate to cigarettes.
Counseling: play a good role in cutting off the habit of smoking. Nicotine patch helps satisfying the craving but counseling prepares a person mentally and behaviorally.