Nicotine is a drug derived from tobacco plant leaves. The tobacco plant produces this toxin in order to repel insects from eating its leaves. Nicotine is commonly used as an insecticide. Pound-for-pound pure nicotine is more toxic than cyanide. Nicotine is also a highly addictive drug when consumed by humans. This is because nicotine is similar to the neurotransmitter ‘acetylcholine’ which is responsible for the release of the brain’s ‘feel good’ hormone known as dopamine. In this way nicotine addiction works in a similar manner to heroin and cocaine addiction.

How nicotine addiction works

Over time a tolerance to nicotine is built up meaning more cigarettes or cigars are required in order to feel the desired ‘high’. When tobacco consumption is halted a number of withdrawal symptoms take place including anxiety, mood swings and irritability. Thus users return to smoking in order to ease withdrawal symptoms. The brain reduces the amount of acetylcholine produced and instead relies on nicotine in order to release dopamine. If nicotine is withdrawn the body will suffer low levels of dopamine. This means users feel highly anxious and depressed during detoxification.

Nicotine health implications

Long-term health implications of nicotine addiction includes:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer of the lungs and throat
  • Emphysema
  • Infertility
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Skin wrinkles

Tobacco contains a number of harmful secondary substances such as tar and carbon monoxide which are responsible for long-term health problems due to smoking.

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms which arise during nicotine detoxification includes:

  • Cravings for the drug
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Attention deficit
  • Anxiety

In order to ease withdrawal symptoms during our rehabilitation programme you may be offered a number of prescription drugs.

Our nicotine addiction treatment

Our nicotine rehabilitation programme is based on abstinence. Therefore nicotine replacement therapy is not included in our residential rehabilitation programme. During detoxification you are required to cease consumption of nicotine entirely. Adverse withdrawal symptoms will be monitored 24 hours a day by our medical team. Withdrawal symptoms can last for up to 10 days from when the drug was last consumed. A number of prescription medications such as bupropion and rimonabant may be offered to ease withdrawal symptoms.

What happens after detoxification?

Once withdrawal symptoms begin to cease during detoxification you will be subject to a number of therapy and counselling sessions. During this time psychological components of addiction are tackled head-on. This reduces relapse risks upon leaving our rehabilitation centre.

Once you leave our centre a relapse prevention plan will be drawn up. We supply after-care treatment for a period of 12 months after nicotine rehabilitation has concluded. We encourage patients to engage Nicotine Anonymous.

For quick access to nicotine rehabilitation call Ocean Recovery today

Address: Ocean Recovery Centre, 94 Queens Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY2 9NS

Landline: 0125 353 0553