Smoking Addiction Treatment Services
Tobacco is one of the most widely abused substances in the world, primarily due to its social acceptability — in many situations, smoking is a key social ritual. However, due to the high percentage of people with a smoking addiction, there are many treatments available.
Medical Smoking Addiction Treatment
Just like any other drug addiction, smoking causes chemical imbalances in the brain, which causes withdrawal symptoms when a user stops taking the addictive substance. Fortunately, there are many medical treatments that can help a user to cope with these symptoms.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is one of the most popular and readily available smoking addiction treatments. NRT works by providing users with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in cigarettes. NRT helps to reduce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, including cravings, bad moods, anxiety and even weight gain, all of which can occur when a user attempts to quit smoking.
NRT is available in many forms, such as:
- Skin patches
- Chewing gum
- Inhalators — these commonly look like plastic cigarettes, however, they have recently become less popular, in favour of e-cigarettes
- Tablets and lozenges
- Nasal and mouth sprays
Different types of NRT work more effectively for different individuals, and some will find they work most successfully when combined together. There’s no evidence that any type of NRT is more effective than another, as it depends on the user and their previous smoking habits.
Treatment with NRT usually lasts for 8-12 weeks, during which users should gradually reduce the dosage until they are no longer dependent on any form of NRT.
Other prescription medical treatments are available for smoking addiction treatment and generally come in tablet form. Some smoking addicts may find these work well for helping them quit their addiction. However, some may miss the behaviours and activities associated with smoking, such as work cigarette breaks and conversations in a smoking area, or even the act of putting something to their mouth and keeping their hands occupied. Because of this, some opt for treatments that closer replicate smoking, such as e-cigarettes.
While some smoking addicts may be able to quit with just medical treatment, other users, particularly those who have smoked long-term, may need other forms of therapy to break the habit altogether.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps patients to identify triggers, such as people, places, or stressors, that trigger the addictive behaviour. It also teaches relapse prevention skills and coping strategies that prevent any triggers from affecting the addict’s recovery.
Motivational interviewing (MI) is another effective therapy for aiding smokers to quit their addiction. Throughout MI, counsellors help patients resolve the doubt that they can’t quit smoking and enhance their motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes. MI is non-intrusive and works on achieving the patient’s goals by altering their current behaviours. The therapy relies heavily on a patient being motivated to change.
Behavioural therapies work for the social factors relating to a smoking addiction, such as peer pressure or triggers from being around other smokers. However, they will not help with withdrawal symptoms of smoking, such as irritability or weight gain. Therefore, some smoking addicts may find that a combination of medical treatment, alongside behavioural therapies, works best in combating the temptation involved with giving up a smoking habit.