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So what do you do, if you are addicted to smoking cigarettes and you want to stop? When use of an addictive drug like nicotine is stopped, the level
of signaling along the many affected pathways will change to levels far from normal. If the drug is not reintroduced, the altered level of signalling
will eventually induce the nerve cells to once again make compensatory changes that restore an appropriate balance of activities within the brain.
Over time, receptor numbers, their sensitivity, and patterns of release of neurotransmitters all revert to normal, once again producing normal
levels of signalling along the pathways. There is no way to avoid the down side. The pleasure pathways will not function at normal
levels until the number of receptors on the affected nerve cells have time to readjust.
Many people attempting to quit smoking use patches containing nicotine to help them, the idea being that providing nicotine removes the craving for
cigarettes. This is true, it does -- so long as you keep using the patch. Actually, using such patches simply substitutes one (admittedly less dangerous)
nicotine source for another. If you are going to quit smoking, there is no way to avoid the necessity of eliminating the drug to which you are addicted,
nicotine. Hard as it is to hear the bad news, there is no easy way out. The only way to quit is to quit.
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Apr 26 08 4:48 PM
Kay, a fun read thanks! Just one note on your comment that it's all psychological after day
three. Clearly all nicotine and 90% of nicotine's metabolites are out of the body within 72 hours, and it's likely that withdrawal has
peaked in intensity, but most authorities assert that the actual physiological adjustment process is about ten days to two weeks and some even a
There seems to be lots of research interest in this area - brain neuron re-sensitization and
the like - and as soon as new info becomes available we'll share it. What's amazing is how much we still don't know.
The interesting part about the subconscious mind is that it doesn't debate, plan, conspire
or punish but, as you note, only reacts to known input. Although we can consciously fixate during absolutely any moment in time our
subconscious feeding cues get reconditioned at a most amazing pace. For most, a substantial percentage are reconditioned by a single encounter
within the first ten days, with the average quitter experiencing a peak of six crave epidosdes on day three. Although we each likely developed a
few remote or seasonal triggers, unless caught of guard, most should be minor in intensity and short-lived in duration.
Regardless of where each of us are there's only one rule, no nicotine today, Never Take
Another Puff! John
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