Teen Tobacco Addiction

Teen tobacco addiction is a growing issue nowadays. Tobacco contains many harmful chemicals, of which nicotine is one, leading to addiction. Tobacco is available in different forms. Teen users smoke, chew, sniff or inhale the vapors. Smoked tobacco products (most common with Tobacco addiction) include – cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, kreteks, hookahs and water pipes. Smokeless tobacco products include – chewing of tobacco, snuff (ground tobacco), dip (moist snuff), dissolvable products (including lozenges, orbs, sticks, and strips), and e-cigarettes (battery operated nicotine delivery device).

Effects of Teen Tobacco Addiction and Smoking

The effects of tobacco addiction are serious and teenagers are highly vulnerable as their body is still developing and growing. Girls are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of smoking and may develop excessive growth of facial hair. Daily smoking impairs the functioning of lungs and may lead to cancer. Even the addicted smoker can drop this habit if committed, although with time and increased addiction it becomes more difficult to overcome and abstain.

Smokers produce more phlegm than non-smokers, and are therefore more likely to catch colds that are more frequent and longer lasting. They usually use more medicines, have trouble sleeping, and may die of a disease directly attributable to smoking addiction. Even mild smokers can suffer have severe effects as a result of addiction. Teen smoking hampers their physical stamina, affecting activities and athletic performance. The blood vessels become narrow which puts more strain on the heart, leading to shortness of breath and lack of oxygen.

Causes of Teen Tobacco Addiction and Smoking

Tobacco addiction and Smoking is known to start from a very young age, as early as during high school years and well before the age of 18 years. The thrill of experimenting with a new thing, and the false sense of calm it provides, gradually turns into tobacco addiction and lasts a lifetime in many cases. Smoking may turn out to be the first step toward drug abuse. If teens can stop or delay the first step, it will reduce the risk of progressing to other drug and substance use and abuse.

Handling Withdrawal Symptoms

When a smoker attempts to quit the habit, the withdrawal symptoms could be tormenting, including, intense headaches or stomachaches, jumpiness or depression, reduced energy levels, dryness of throat and mouth, and an urge to constantly eat etc. The symptoms of withdrawal will pass with time, but a strong willpower and patience must be exercised to overcome and progress to the next level where one does not relapse. Staying busy and active, and keeping body weight down will also help to conserve energy levels and gradually reduce the tobacco dependence. In some instances, one may consider using a nicotine substitute to assist with the withdrawal symptoms and to prevent relapse.

Treatment Nicotine Replacement Therapies

Nicotine gum and the trans-dermal nicotine patch, in conjunction with behavioral support helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms. This combination will produce less severe physiological alterations than tobacco-based systems. These forms of nicotine do not contain the carcinogens and gases associated with the tobacco smoke, and improve long-term outcomes.

Additional Medications

The focus of pharmacological treatment for tobacco addiction is nicotine replacement. This medication, which acts at the sites in the brain affected by nicotine, may help people quit by easing withdrawal symptoms and blocking the effects of nicotine if people resume smoking.

Several other non-nicotine medications exist, including, antidepressants and antihypertensive medication. An effective method is the use of a vaccine that targets nicotine for relapse prevention. The nicotine vaccine triggers the production of antibodies that effectively block the access of nicotine to the brain, thereby preventing the reinforcing effects of nicotine.

Behavioral Treatments

Behavioral interventions play an integral role in smoking cessation treatment, either in conjunction with medication or alone. A variety of methods can assist smokers with quitting, including a range of self-help materials and cognitive-behavioral therapy. These interventions teach individuals to identify high-risk smoking situations, develop alternative coping strategies, manage stress, improve their problem-solving skills, and increase social support.

Treatment at Hillcrest

Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center (Hillcrest) is a licensed, residential mental health facility, specializing in the treatment of teen tobacco addiction. Hillcrest aims to help clients become centered and empowered to address their struggles head on and to find the most wholesome path for long-lasting healing, and enable them to maximize their quality of life.

In line with the treatment philosophy and facility mission, Hillcrest provides a range of innovative and creative therapeutic, experiential, and clinical evidence-based treatment options in a natural and peaceful environment, to benefit both mind and body health. Simultaneously, clients are provided with an educational school component, as well as healthy recreational activities, including; library, art, music, and a range of outdoor exercise programs, including tennis and swimming. All healing is guided by dedicated doctoral level medical healthcare professionals and therapists with stellar background and experience. At Hillcrest the road to recovery is real and supported every step of the way for you and your loved one.

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