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to Freedom and if I've read your post correctly you are around 6 weeks into this quit? So that means you are beyond Green
already!! Good for you. I can only speak for the elimination of nicotine in my life. The education here has made the difference for me. I was about 0 for 9
using some type of NRT. I was even involved with studies at the U of AZ for the testing of the lozenges, many years ago...work fine until the group was
finished and we couldn't get that product on the market yet. So back to smoking!! But coming here to the Freedom boards and Why Quit, has provided the
educational tools for me to stay quit. The support and encouragement you'll find here also help so much....like attracts like and this was the only place
I've found where the people have been where I was and where I am....so welcome aboard Scott. Keep reading and posting and accepting that this is a journey
and not an event. Things just keep getting easier and easier with each day that you NTAP.
VICKI - Free and Healing for Eight Months and
3 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 16 Days and 21 Hours, by avoiding the use of 4860 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me
Apr 3 07 3:59 AM
I have tried quitting smoking many times. I can specifically remember taking the
nicotine patch on 4 different attempts, the nicotine gum twice, and the lozenges once. 7 quit attempts using NRT and 7 failures. Every time
I would stop taking NRT, I would start taking cigarettes because I was in withdrawal. If I was 0 for 7 in quit attempts using
"treatments" that pharmaceutical companies were telling me would improve my chances of quitting, imagine how I must have felt
about quitting by immediate nicotine withdrawal! Impossible! Or so I thought.
I think I now have a unique perspective on why I was 0 for 7. Bear with me for a few paragraphs as I try to get to my point.
About 6 weeks ago, I abruptly stopped taking a high dose of an opiate analgesic narcotic (morphine) that I was addicted to. At the same
time, I abruptly stopped taking cigarettes. 2 cold turkey quits at the same time. For those that are not familiar with how it feels to
withdraw from an opiate addiction, let me just say that it is intense and debilitating. During acute opiate withdrawal (first 3 days), I
experienced chills and gooseflesh (i.e. cold turkey), sweats, restless legs syndrome (i.e. kicking the habit), extreme insomnia, diarrhea,
and all-over aches. Basically, it felt like the worst flu I had ever had and I stayed in bed for about 72 hours (though physical symptoms
lasted several weeks). Needless to say, I was miserable enough not to even really consider cigarettes; the acute phase of nicotine
withdrawal came and went almost unnoticed (this was the easy part as I still had to learn how to stay quit, but that's another
So for the last 6 weeks, I have been researching and seeking support for both of my quits - opiates and nicotine. What I have learned has
shocked me because there are so many parallels in my 2 quits. Both drugs cause the release of "feel-good" chemicals such as
dopamine. Addicts of both drugs are terrified of withdrawal, but withdrawal is considered safe for both (though not necessarily safe for
benzodiazepines or alcohol).
Most surprising to me, however, addicts of both have the option of pharmaceutical treatment by "replacement therapy". For opiate
addicts, the current trend is toward a long-lasting synthetic opiate that, while unable to produce a strong high, is similar to other
opiates in reducing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms." It is also addictive
and cessation of "therapy" will cause withdrawal. In "blinded" trials, it has been shown to be more effective after 4
weeks than placebo (17.8% vs 5.8%) in stopping use of other opiates. After learning some truths about NRT at WhyQuit, I was immediately
skeptical of this "efficacy" finding. Specifically, I thought, "Physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal are so intense, and
bupe makes these symptoms go away, so how in the world are these patients blinded to what treatment arm they are in? If they are expecting
symptom relief and not receiving it, why wouldn't they start re-administering their opiate of choice?"
My experience with NRT, coupled with my literature review of this narcotic replacement therapy, tells me this: The only thing I know about
replacement therapy is that it can be useful in mitigating withdrawal symptoms, which really has nothing to do with quitting. At least in
part, I believe that the reason I was 0 for 7 in previous quit attempts by NRT is that it doesn't work. I was relying on NRT to support
my quit, but I wasn't even quit because I was still addicted to nicotine! The law of addiction does not apply to nicotine exclusively.
I know that, to keep my quits, all I need to do is not take a puff or pill!
Scott, we edited out names of the non smoking cessation drugs you mentioned to comply with Freedom's posting Rules.
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