Understanding the Law of Addiction: 3 Things You Should Remember

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Despite the life-threatening effects of smoking, millions of people around the world still smoke. According to the World Health Organization, if the current smoking pattern persists, there will be more than one billion people who will die due to cigarettes at the end of the century.

Quitting is not an issue. What these people can’t seem to master is how to stop smoking for good. They can stop smoking now, but how long can they hold on to it? By understanding the law of addiction, you can improve your chance of quitting and be able to quit for good.

So what does the law of addiction tell us?

When you decide to quit, you need to forget about cigarettes no matter what. That’s why quitting needs a lot of preparation. If you slip, you are likely to start all over again with this unhealthy habit. The law of addiction states “Administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.” This means that if you are in the process of quitting, smoking even just for once is enough to put you back to the old same habit. When trying to incorporate the law of addiction into your life, here are three things you should remember. They are the fundamental principles that lie behind the law of addiction:


 1.  Nicotine dependency is considered a chemical addiction.

The reason why cigarettes are addictive is because of nicotine. The nicotine receptors attach themselves to the brain. This results to a sudden surge in the dopamine (the feel-good hormone). There is also a high level of dopamine when the addictive substances from other drugs like heroin, cocaine and alcohol attach to the brain. The problem with the drug-induced dopamine is that the good feeling goes away so quickly. After 10 minutes or so, the elevated sense of pleasure goes down, and you feel the urge to smoke again.

 2.  Once the addiction has been established, you cannot kill it.

When your brain becomes hooked to nicotine, it treats it like a biological need that without nicotine, your brain will experience undesirable changes. You cannot kill addiction, you can only arrest or confine it. How? You can do it through various treatments, such as medication, counseling, nicotine replacement, etc.

 3.  Just one powerful puff will guarantee a full, complete relapse.


Regardless of how many years you have remained nicotine-free, just a single puff can lead you to a complete relapse. There are many people who managed to quit smoking for a year or two that they become so confident about their ability to quit forever. So they light up during a special occasion, thinking that they are not going to be addicted again.


Don’t ever try to smoke again

Smokers who experienced a relapse are more likely to increase their tobacco consumption the next time they smoke again. So make sure you don’t light up. There are plenty of ways to suppress cigarette cravings. Seek help if needed. Be smart. Stop smoking today and make it last for good.


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