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Myths vs. Facts of Recovery From Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine is an addictive substance that adversely impacts your overall health. To effectively quit using nicotine, you’ll first need to understand smoking addiction facts and the fundamentals of how nicotine can affect your health. Once you have a better grasp of smoking myths and facts, you can productively approach your nicotine use and start your journey to lifelong recovery. Recovering from nicotine addiction can be a mental and physical healing process for you to lead a healthier life.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Nicotine Addiction?

With nicotine addiction rehabilitation, you can quit smoking and allow your body to recover fully. Within as little as 20 minutes from your last cigarette, your body will begin to heal itself. While the addictiveness of nicotine and potential withdrawal symptoms may be challenging, the benefits of becoming a nonsmoker can vastly improve your overall health. The longer you go without a cigarette, the more your body can effectively repair itself and make long-term improvements.

  • One hour: In the first hour after smoking a cigarette, your resting heart rate will begin to decrease. Circulation will also start to improve as the blood pressure stabilizes.
  • 12 hours: Within 12 hours of your last cigarette, your body will begin removing excess carbon monoxide, a toxin cigarettes produce that can be harmful or even fatal in large doses. Carbon monoxide prevents your body from allowing oxygen to enter the lungs and bloodstream.
  • One day: Within one to two days, your risk of a heart attack will begin to decrease. A day after your last cigarette, your blood pressure will stabilize and reduce the risk of smoking-induced heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Two days: On the second day after quitting smoking, the nerve endings responsible for taste and smell will begin to heal, improving these senses.
  • Three days: After three days of not smoking, your body will remove any nicotine from its system, which is beneficial to your health, but may cause a period of nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawal may lead to headaches, irritability and cravings.
  • One month: Only a month after your last cigarette, your lung function will begin to improve. As your lungs heal, you may experience less shortness of breath or coughing due to smoking.
  • Nine months: In the first nine months after quitting cigarettes, your lungs will have healed significantly. The cilia, which are hair-like structures that help move mucus out of the lungs and prevent infections, will have mostly regenerated. At nine months, you may notice lung infections are less likely due to the cilia being able to function correctly.
  • One year: One year after quitting nicotine, your risk of coronary heart diseases drops to about half of what it is for active smokers.
  • Five years: As your lungs and body continue to heal in the five years since your last cigarette, your arteries and blood vessels will begin to widen again. A healthy widening of arteries and vessels means less risk of clotting, lowering your overall odds of experiencing a stroke.
  • 10 years: Around the 10-year mark, your risk of developing lung cancer is about half of what it is for an active smoker. Your risk of esophageal and bladder cancer also decreases.
  • 15 years: After 15 years, your risk of a heart attack lowers and is similar to that of a nonsmoker.
  • 20 years: Within 20 years of your last cigarette, the risk of respiratory disease is equivalent to that of a lifetime nonsmoker. Your overall chances of developing lung cancer will continue to decrease.

Is There a Treatment for Nicotine Addiction?

It can be easy to get addicted to nicotine, but there are many effective treatment options to quit smoking and improve your health. Various treatments can help you learn the facts of nicotine addiction while recognizing potential triggers. Understanding tobacco addiction facts and the fundamentals of recovery can help you quit smoking and pursue a life of improved health.

Understanding tobacco addiction facts and the fundamentals of recovery can help you quit smoking and pursue a life of improved health.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a program that can help improve your thinking and overall behaviors. CBT provides many benefits for those quitting smoking, including relapse prevention, better behavioral patterns and the ability to focus on solutions instead of problems. Those who are taking their first steps on the journey to recovery from nicotine addiction can benefit from learning healthy coping strategies to avoid smoking and face stressful triggers more effectively.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy is an essential tool that can help those recovering from nicotine addiction practice acceptance. Acceptance is a vital process of healing and moving forward in life, which can be a challenging roadblock for some and also cause people to use nicotine in the first place. Without accepting your circumstances, you cannot move on and begin to heal. Positivity and commitment therapy can encourage you to choose your path in life and start making positive changes.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a helpful therapy that can help those looking to improve their lives. Motivational interviewing is an engaging treatment that allows you to be directly involved in your nicotine addiction recovery. Exploring addiction’s impact on your health, personal and professional life can often be an effective way to increase motivation in those quitting smoking. Additionally, motivational interviewing helps you focus on the positive changes you can make.

Group and Individual Therapy

Group and individual therapy can offer a safe and constructive space to reflect on issues you may be facing and learn how to work through them from a different perspective. With group therapy, you can benefit from advice and inspiration from fellow members. Hearing from others in recovery from nicotine addiction can be motivational and help remind you that you’re not alone in dealing with these issues.

Recreational Activities

Recreational activities can encourage a healthy lifestyle and teach valuable self-esteem, interpersonal and recovery skills. Popular recreational activities for recovery include yoga, music, sports and even games. The goal of recreational activities is to encourage you to relax and improve your mood, developing positive routines to support lasting recovery.

Can Your Brain Heal From Nicotine?

Nicotine and addiction can negatively impact brain health. Quitting smoking can promote healing in many parts of the body, including the brain. Research has found those who stop smoking cigarettes for a prolonged period may benefit from a reduced risk of dementia. After quitting smoking, the number of nicotine receptors in your brain will return to normal, helping reduce nicotine cravings. While it may be a long process, your body and brain can begin to heal from nicotine once you stop smoking.

Nicotine Addiction Rehabilitation

At Gateway Foundation, we provide addiction treatments from a holistic approach using innovative, evidence-based practices. We strive to provide each patient with compassionate care and engagement to help them achieve lasting sobriety. Our staff has trained to reach each person’s unique social, physical and emotional needs and provide insightful facts on nicotine addiction. Gateway Foundation’s experts have designed our approach to addiction medicine to empower patients with motivation and the tools they need for lifelong sobriety and success.

To learn more about nicotine addiction rehabilitation, contact us online or call 877-381-6538 and start your recovery journey.

Nicotine Addiction Rehabilitation at Gateway Foundation

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