You can resolve your addiction to cigarettes and quit smoking and stay quit. Research shows that you can increase the chances of quitting this time if you use a combination of the techniques available. Dr. Darvin Hege can show you how to break the psychological and physical addiction to cigarettes! He can prescribe Chantix, buproprion (Zyban/Wellbutrin) and/or other medications. These can be taken in combination with over-the-counter medications for nicotine replacement treatments (nicotine patches, gum, inhaler, nasal spray). Adding mental and/or psychological support such as motivational therapy, cognitive therapy, and/or other individual intensive therapy can further increase your chance of success. Smokeless tobacco (snuff, chewing, dip, spit) has equal the addictive power, health risk, and withdrawal problems of smoked tobacco. Success for quitting smokeless tobacco can be increased with the same medications as smoked tobacco with some special considerations.
Dr. Hege’s successful strategy on how to overcome addiction to cigarettes requires that your physical, as well as psychological, withdrawal from nicotine be addressed. Physical cravings can be reduced with “prescription only” (buproprion, Zyban, Wellbutrin) and/or other brain chemical rebalancing agents. These prescription medications are administered in addition to over-the-counter nicotine replacement medications. Dr. Hege can help the psychological symptoms with brief talk-therapy techniques of a motivational nature and cognitive behavioral therapy. You are evaluated for co-morbid conditions such as anxiety, depression, ADD, bipolar traits, PTSD, OCD, and other disorders. If any of these are present and treated, it can reduce withdrawal severity and increase the likelihood of success. If you have particular psychological blocks that have caused you repeated failures to quit, Dr. Hege works with a network of collaborating therapists in the community to whom you can be referred to help resolve these blocks. They use more intensive, longer session therapies and/or other special psychological technical skills.
Yes! Chantix has higher success rates of helping you to end your addiction to cigarettes then any other medicines we have. The FDA has just approved it, and Chantix is widely available in pharmacies now. It is a prescription pill that has three month abstinence rates of up to 50% (versus 30% for Wellbutrin/Zyban) and one year abstinence rates are up to 23% (versus 14-16% for Wellbutrin).
The medicine requires a physician to prescribe it. The most common side effect is nausea that can be minimized by taking the pill after meals with a glass of water twice each day. You set a quit date for when you plan to stop smoking cigarettes and start the Chantix one week before quitting cigarettes.
As with all nicotine dependence treatment options, combining cognitive behavioral therapy increases success rates. Dr. Hege has trained for Chantix usage with complementary treatments by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Depression: If you have depression, you have a higher risk of relapse. If your depression is relieved, you have higher likelihood of quitting smoking. Studies show patients with pre-existing depression have higher rates of becoming addicted to nicotine in the beginning. Also patients with a prior history of depression are more apt to have an onset of depression when trying to stop smoking.
What can be done? Bupropion treats depression as well as nicotine withdrawal symptoms. If you get side effects from bupropion or it does not help, we have many other medicines that will help. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Hege’s background and experience with choosing and using these options means he can quickly and accurately prescribe the right medication for you.
Anxiety: 88% of all people have anxiety when they withdraw from nicotine. If you have a pre-existing disorder (panic, GAD, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD), you are at risk of worsening your anxiety disorder during withdrawal. Special attention to medication adjustments, change, or additional medication and psychological treatment can relieve this problem and increase your chance of success.
Other psychiatric disorders: ADD and bipolar are commonly accompanied by impulsiveness, anxiety, and moodiness. If these symptoms are uncontrolled, they lower success rates for weathering nicotine withdrawal. Maximum control of these symptoms with proper medication management can reduce the anguish of cravings and increases the chances of success in quitting cigarettes permanently. Because Dr. Hege is a psychiatrist and an addictionist certified by each medical specialty certifying organization, his skills with these situations can contribute to your success.
Addiction to nicotine shares many characteristics with other substance dependencies. Chronic use causes 1) Tolerance (the need for higher doses and/or more frequent doses to get the same euphoric or stimulating effects) and 2) withdrawal (unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms when the substance is stopped or reduced in dose or frequency of doses). Skillful use of medications for these unpleasant physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms is the centerpiece of the addictionist’s tools.
Nicotine recovery may not be achieved if a co-existing substance abuse disorder is present. Commonly, people with alcohol use or abuse relapse on nicotine while under the influence of alcohol. Intoxication on other substances such as marijuana, narcotics, tranquilizers, cocaine, or hallucinogens lowers impulse control and relapse on nicotine occurs. An addictionist addresses these other addictive substance issues with you and can help your nicotine recovery.
If you’re seeking treatment to help with an addiction to cigarettes, call Dr. Hege today for the expertise and relief you need!