March 18, 2011

What is Nicotine Dependence

Posted in Category : General Health

One may not know exactly what is nicotine dependence and therefore may seek an answer to the question. Nicotine dependence can be described as the addiction towards products that contain tobacco, because of the presence of nicotine in it. Nicotine is a substance that is often referred to, as an addictive drug, by many health experts. Excessive exposure to this substance can have an adverse effect on the brain, causing the person to crave for more of it. Therefore, just like in the case of any other addictive drug the use of nicotine can lead to an addiction, because of the good feelings that it can trigger off in a person. Moreover, the absence of this substance could also bring about some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms in an individual. This means that a person who is used to nicotine exposure on a regular basis cannot stop using those products, in spite of the facts that they are harmful. Instead, if person suffering from nicotine dependence is made to avoid it completely for a couple of days, he or she may soon experience a few unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.


Quite a few individuals get addicted or completely dependent on nicotine, very quickly, after using smaller amounts. Given below are some of the various symptoms of nicotine dependence:

  • Several serious, but unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking. This occurs mainly when a person’s resolve weakens and he or she reaches out for a cigarette at the first instance of stress.
  • Experiencing anxiety, mood swings, irritability, lack of concentration, depression, stress, anger, frustration and irritability in the absence of nicotine.
  • A decrease in appetite, accompanied by digestive problems, like constipation
  • Behavioral changes, like avoiding restaurants, department stores or even houses, where smoking is not permitted
  • Evidence of health problems, like respiratory diseases or heart problems

There are thousands of men and women around the world who have tried to quit smoking a number of times, but have not been able to do so. Even those who did manage to quit claim that they had to try a number of times, before they were finally successful. There have been numerous instances of people who begin to experience health problems, as a result of smoking, but cannot quit the habit, due to nicotine dependence. In such cases, people are strongly advised to consult a medical health care provider, as early as possible, to undergo nicotine dependence treatment.


Not a lot of people are aware that they can undergo nicotine dependence treatment with the help of a medical professional, as not a lot of importance is given to this affliction. However, there is a proper treatment plan in place for people who are suffering from this problem, as it is regarded as being quite a serious one, by several leading health institutions (nicotine dependence DSM IV code 105.10).

A few varieties of medicines are considered safe and effective in the treatment of nicotine dependence, which can improve the chances of a person quitting the habit, if accompanied by the right behavioral changes. A combination of different medication, as well as therapy is also recommended for most people. The treatment may take a while and several changes may need to be made, till the right combination is found.

In addition to medication and therapy, there are several counseling groups and camps, which offer help to those who want to break away from the dependence on nicotine, so that they can lead a healthier life. These help groups can be found in the form of telephone counseling, individual counseling programs, group counseling programs and internet based counseling. It is important for people to avoid getting discouraged by an unsuccessful attempt to smoke.