Nicotine and Alcohol; The Most Commonly Abused Substances, Their Health Implications, and Possible Remedies

People go through a lot of hardship in their lives- from addiction and other mental health issues like anxiety and depression to aggravated war injuries and physical health complications (e.g. neuropathic pain)- and a lot of the time, these people turn to various substances to ease the constant pain they feel, and more times than not, it results in the abuse of it. Due to the destructive events that substance abuse can create, it is imperative to get treated as soon as possible.

Different drug problems require different treatments and solutions, here we will be exploring the most common substance abuse problems and the possible ways to treat them and set people on a path to recovery.

Nicotine

Tobacco, the primary ingredient of cigarettes secretes a chemical called nicotine which gives a rush of pleasure and energy. However, the effects do not last long which is why it is easy to rack up the number of smoked cigarette sticks. The rush of pleasure and energy derived from it is also the reason why it is challenging to quit smoking. The more you smoke, the more your body builds up a resistance to it, making you need more nicotine to get that same rush of pleasure each time.

Trying to quit smoking leads to withdrawal symptoms including physical and mental changes, however, it is important to desist from the act because of the health problems that could arise as a result such as emphysema, lung cancer, increased risk of diabetes, heart and circulatory problems, eye problems, increased risk of infertility and impotence, other cancers e.t.c.

There are several methods of treating nicotine dependency, one of them is the snus pouch (nicotine pouch). It is a non-smokable, orally-applied powdered substance that contains nicotine, but without its harmful properties. Although the best way to recover from nicotine dependency is total abstinence, nicotine pouches would enable you to let go more easily.

Alcohol

Alcohol is another substance that is widely abused on a global scale, perhaps the most widely abused. The detrimental effects of alcohol widely outweigh the pleasure for which it is sought after.
Just like it is with every addictive drug out there, the withdrawal symptoms when recovering from alcohol dependency could discourage people from starting the process in the first place. However, today, there are several establishments and programs that are built with the intention of helping people who are recovering from alcohol dependency. What they all have in common is the provision of a safe space for people to unburden themselves and interact with other people who are facing the same challenges.

Apart from the establishments dedicated to helping recovering alcoholics, there are some medications that have been manufactured to make the process easier and prevent relapse. This is achieved via different modes of operation:

  • Blocking out the receptor in the brain that facilitates the pleasurable effects of alcohol consumption; take away the pleasure and maybe people won’t see the point anymore (Naltrexone).

  • Taking away or reducing the withdrawal symptoms; the possibility of fewer withdrawal symptoms and their reduced severity would encourage people to take that first step to recovery (Acamprosate, Campral).

  • Making it a lot more inconvenient for a recovering alcoholic to relapse by disrupting the breakdown of alcohol to induce undesirable effects such as an irregular heartbeat, facial redness, and feeling sick. (Disulfiram, Antabuse).

Struggling with an addiction is difficult, even more so when trying to do it alone. Seeking help from loved ones or medical professionals will go a long way to ease the burden.

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