So one morning we woke up and suddenly found ourselves helplessly addicted to nicotine…. Our world had changed…. Nicotine is our new Master… What now?
What causes smoking addiction and what can we do about it?… Where can we find smoking addiction help? What do we know about smoking addiction recovery?
Let’s be clear. We are talking about nicotine addiction recovery, regardless of the vehicle used to ingest the nicotine.
How this Happens
When nicotine enters the brain, it causes a release of chemicals, most notably Dopamine and Serotonin. These are known as “Feel Good” drugs.
The euphoric effect is short lived and we begin to withdraw from the drugs. This means we need more nicotine in order to get more Serotonin and Dopamine. This causes a constant up & down yo-yo effect.… This is addiction.
Over time, chemical changes occur in our brains. The addiction becomes further entrenched and our thinking becomes warped. Our sickened brains now tell us lies to justify continuing harmful behavior, despite clearly dangerous consequences.
If the Smoker/Vapor is under the age of 25, this danger is further magnified because the human brain is still developing.
One of those untruths is a denial that we are addicted and another is a denial of the power of nicotine.
Vapors very often go so far as to even call nicotine “weak”, “harmless”, and “non-addictive”.
This denial is further reinforced by Smokers who turn to Vaping “to quit smoking”. What they are really engaging in is Harm Reduction…. Harm Reduction may be somewhat beneficial, but until the Nicotine-Serotonin-Dopamine cycle is broken, we have not honestly and truly “stopped smoking”.
Harm Reduction means “less harmful”.. It does not mean “safe”. We are not safe until we truly break the addiction cycle.
The amount of nicotine in any particular brand of cigarettes tends to be fairly consistent, therefore “controlled”… Not so with Vaping.
Vaping allows for much stronger hits of nicotine than cigarettes and the frequency with which a Vapor “takes a hit” usually will far surpass a Smoker’s frequency of intake.
E-cigs have a very real potential to deliver far more nicotine than a cigarette. That means more Dopamine is released…
It’s really the Dopamine that we as Smokers and Vapors crave… This is the root cause of our addiction…
To make matters worse, the Vapor has the additional ability to really crank up the Dopamine thereby further deepening the addiction.
Our biggest obstacle to quitting smoking is ourselves…. As soon as we decide to stop smoking, the addiction rears it’s ugly head and immediately tries to talk us out of the decision to stop…
This causes deep conflict within ourselves and it is this very conflict is what causes the temporary withdrawal from tobacco that we must go through in order to successfully stop smoking.
The withdrawal occurs due to the deep conflict that a Smoker goes through when trying to stop. That conflict will manifest itself in a variety of ways and will be dependent on each person’s individual experience.
Every time you begin to withdraw from the last cigarette that you smoked, you will feel uncomfortable due to nicotine withdrawal. As an active Smoker, you will relieve that discomfort by lighting up.
Over time, your addicted mind will perceive and treat that relief as pleasure…. Relief of discomfort is not pleasure.
The symptoms of temporary withdrawal will vary from person to person.
The thing to remember about temporary withdrawal is that it is only an uncomfortable experience. It is not “pain” or “agony”. It is only uncomfortable and it is definitely temporary.
Smoking is not a habit… It is an addiction.
That is the bold truth and it is true about you as a Smoker.
Nicotine binds to receptors in the brain to release Dopamine and Serotonin… These “Feel Good” drugs are what we really crave and, over time, they warp and distort our thinking.
In order to successfully and permanently stop smoking or vaping, it is essential that we retrain that thinking.
There is nothing at all pleasurable about smoking.
The choice is inescapable… Delaying the choice IS a choice… It is a choice to continue to smoke.
We can choose between the permanent state of addiction and all of its attendant consequences, or we can choose to face the unreasonable fear of withdrawal and deal with it for 48-72 hours and have permanent recovery from the addiction.
It’s a very low price to pay for all those fantastic benefits from stopping smoking.