What is Walk&Talk?
Welcome to my new series of articles, Walk&Talk. In this series, I will combine my actifit activity with information of diverse topics.
My last post didn´t have a good reception despite the effort I put on it. However, I´m not surprised about the fact that most of the readers aren´t interested in Spanish politics.
Today I accompanied my mother to several pharmacies in our neighbourhood. She wants to withdraw from tobacco and was looking for pills prescribed by his doctor to withdraw from tobacco. Starting this year, the Spanish government started to subsidize this pills, but this medication is currently unavailable because changes in the packaging and the patient´s leaflet.
Why is tobacco so addictive?
The main substance in tobacco that causes addiction is nicotine. It provides an increase in dopamine as soon as 10 seconds after inhaling. The habit of smoking modifies neural connections, causing addiction.
In addition, other substances in cigarettes increase nicotine´s effect. Smoking reduces the activity of the enzyme that breaks up dopamine, however the specific substance that does this has not been identified yet. In animals, acetaldehyde ( an intermediate molecule in the oxidation of ethanol(alcohol) to acetic acid (vinegar)) increases nicotine addiction, specially in young individuals. Therefore, teenagers could be more sensitive towards tobacco addiction.
Treatments for withdrawing from tobacco
Note: Do not start any pharmalogical treatment without individual doctor supervision
Nicotine replacement therapies uses chewing gums, patches or inhalers containing nicotine to gradually reduce the drug intake to zero. Furthermore, tobacco addiction is not only caused by the effect of the nicotine, but also by the habit of smoking.
Other drugs are varenicline and bupropion. Varenicline blocks brain receptors for nicotine and reduces abstinence symptoms. Patients that keeps smoking after several days of treatment don´t obtain the relieve effect of nicotine and notice the tobacco´s flavour much more disgusting. Bupropion is an antidepressant that reduces abstinence symptoms by reducing the normal break up of dopamine.
NIDA. "Adicción al tabaco." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1 Mar. 2010, https://www.drugabuse.gov/es/adiccion-al-tabaco. Accedido 8 Jan. 2020.