Ę Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine addiction. I am sure that everyone heard about it or had contact with addicted person. Nicotine addiction is one of the biggest problems of modern society. According to the studies nowadays there are about 1.3 billion smokers in the world. According to the scientists is: 1000x more potent than alcohol
more than 5 x stronger than cocaine or morphine
What does it mean for us? Well basically is one of the most addictive substances in the world. In other words if you will start smoking then it is over 90% probability that you will be addicted to nicotine.
What exactly nicotine is?
Well the typical definition states that nicotine is alkaloid found in the family of plants called Solanaceae and which acts as a nicotinic acetylcholine agonist.To explain, alkaloid is a natural chemical compound . The are mostly used in medicine (morphine) or as stimulants (caffeine and nicotine). Solanaceae is a family of plants also called nightshade. Solanaceae plants are best known from being rich in alkaloids. Nicotinic acetylcholine agonist is a kind of substance which emulates the acetylcholine (ACh) Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for the motor functions of our somatic nervous system. In other words it works for us like a kind of stimulant which and makes us arousal. Furthermore nicotine also reacts with many other neurotransmitters in our brain: First of all nicotine reacts with Dopamine. When we are smoking the nicotine is coming to our lungs. After about 7 seconds it makes contact with our brain. One of the results of such contact is releasing a huge amount of Dopamine (DA). Dopamine released by nicotine is responsible for the feeling of pleasure and for suppressing the appetite. Another neurotransmitters with which nicotine combines are Serotonin (5-HT), Norepinephrine – better known as noradrenaline (NA), Vasopressin (AVP) and Beta-Endorphin. The effects of joining nicotine with Serotonin are e.g suppressed appetite and changed mood. Te effects of combining nicotine with noardrenaline are again suppressed appetite and arousal. Vasopressin is responsible for better memory and Beta-Endorphin reduces tension and stress level. All in all nicotine have many “good” effects on our brain. It helps us to reduce stress level, furthermore thanks to the nicotine we have better memory, mood and we have more energy and to top it off it helps us to kill appetite. In other words our brain is in illusion that nicotine is a good substance for it thus it wants more. The most responsible for addiction is actually the fact that nicotine is releasing more dopamine in our brain. The problem is that after we smoke the cigarette, released dopamine disappears very fast and our brain just wants more and more of it. Overall nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs in the world and we should remember that before “try” to smoke.
Symptoms and diagnosis:
There are many various symptoms connected with the nicotine addiction. However if we want to know if someone is addicted or not we should focus especially on withdrawal effects which in case of nicotine addiction are very strong. The external effects or nicotine addiction are rather hard to see and they develop very slowly. Nicotine destroys our body mainly from the inside. The only effects on our body which can be seen by other people are problems with skin, rapid loos of weight, black and destroyed teeth and weak hairs. The problem is that all these symptoms can be misjudged as a signs of sickness. So if we want to know if our relative is addicted to the nicotine we should focus on the following symptoms: - An intense urge to smoke more and more cigarettes – when we see that our relative is smoking more than 7 cigarettes per day then he is probably addicted - Frustration, anxiety, nervousness, panic etc. when he/she tries to stop smoking for longer time. - Problems with concentration when he/she tries to withdraw from smoking - Rapid lose of weight...
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