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Effects of Nicotine Addiction

Common side effects of nicotine use include decreased appetite, increased blood pressure, heightened mood, sweating, nausea, and diarrhea.

Navigation: Nicotine Overview, Nicotine Abuse and Effects, Nicotine Addiction, Rehab Is Your Best Chance


Nicotine addiction is one of the most common yet most difficult addictions to break. It goes without saying that abusing tobacco can lead to severe health problems. That is why it is important to talk about nicotine abuse, addiction, and its effects.

On average, non-smokers live 14 years longer than smokers. In fact, over 500,000 smokers in the United States die from tobacco each year. Knowing these statistics can help motivate those who are currently dealing with a nicotine addiction.

The good news is that there is hope for people who are struggling with this type of addiction. Despite how difficult it is to break this pattern of substance abuse, over 1 million people who use tobacco quit every year. No matter how long you’ve been smoking, quitting drastically reduces your chances of developing tobacco-related health problems

It begins with gaining an understanding of what nicotine is and how its abuse affects an individual.


Nicotine Overview

Nicotine is a substance that is found in tobacco products such as cigarettes. This substance is highly addictive and is in fact the most common type of addiction in the US.

This addiction affects around 50 million people in America, and it costs the US approximately $193 billion a year in terms of societal costs like healthcare expenses and lost productivity.


Nicotine Abuse and Effects

Compared to other substances, nicotine is less intoxicating. Even though it is considered a stimulant, it does not produce high levels of euphoria or energy unlike other stimulants such as cocaine. This is what makes nicotine abuse quite unique.

What the substance does is stimulate a person’s adrenal glands. This increases their respiration as well as their blood pressure. But aside from that, most people who abuse tobacco products do so just based on the cultural perception that it is cool.

Media depictions of tobacco use are likely to influence teenagers to pick up the habit. This and peer pressure are some of the reasons why most tobacco abuse begins in the teenage years. 90 percent of people who smoke started by the age of 18. Quitting is harder for those who started smoking at a very young age.

Most people who are addicted to nicotine never intended or expected to become addicted to the substance. Just like other addictive substances, nicotine activates the brain’s reward center, which makes the experience enjoyable for the person smoking tobacco.

Common side effects of nicotine use include decreased appetite, increased blood pressure, heightened mood, sweating, nausea, and diarrhea.

Although overdose is possible, it is not common. Still, it is important to know the signs of a nicotine overdose. Contact medical professionals immediately if someone displays symptoms such as vomiting, fainting, headache, weakness, and increased or decreased heart rate.

Nicotine is poisonous and overdose is possible, though not common. Most often, nicotine poisoning occurs when children mistake nicotine gum or lozenges for candy.

Nicotine Addiction

When someone abuses nicotine, it changes the biochemical makeup of their brain. This is how dependence develops and addiction eventually sets in.

This is also why younger people are more susceptible to becoming addicted. Their brain’s reward system is still developing in their teens.

Physical dependence makes it hard for anyone to quit a particular substance. At this point, their body has adapted to the presence of nicotine in the system. This is why the body reacts negatively and goes through withdrawal when the dependent person suddenly stops smoking.

Addiction, on the other hand, is characterized by the compulsive use of a certain substance even when the user is already experiencing its adverse effects. People who are addicted to nicotine have a psychological need for the substance. They will crave for it when they are not smoking.

The pleasant sensations associated with smoking will also make it harder for them to quit. In order to recover from this type of addiction, you need to rewire your brain and behavior to stop associating tobacco with these memories and sensations. This should be done with the assistance of a medical professional.

Having the desire to quit smoking is the first step towards recovery. It is also the most important decision you will make if you want to get sober again.

If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. Because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.

Rehab is Your Best Chance

Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs or alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.



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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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