As a means of simplifying the process, smoking cessation involves two steps:
- The initial phase in which one withdraws from nicotine dependence
- The secondary phase of relapse prevention, after the nicotine physical dependence has resolved
1. Nicotine Dependence
To assist in getting through the nicotine dependence, the use of medications has been shown to improve success rates over doing so “cold turkey.” Medications commonly used to facilitate nicotine withdrawal include:
- Nicotine replacement: e-cigarettes, patches and gum
- Antidepressants: Wellbutrin, Zyban most commonly
- Chantix: a nicotine receptor blocker
- Synaptamine: a “medical food,” consisting of natural supplements designed to elevate dopamine levels in the brain (see Reward Deficiency Syndrom, below)
2. Relapse Prevention
Avoiding relapse is a life-long process that requires an understanding of addiction and the acquisition of the knowledge and skill sets that will allow for successful smoking cessation.
The Accurate Smoking Cessation program involves an appointment with the physician for those who wish to include a medication-assisted approach to nicotine withdrawal and an appointment with our licensed addiction counselor (LAC) for an education session for those who wish to learn more about successful relapse prevention.
It is not required to meet with both physician and LAC, but it is highly recommended to do so as studies indicate that those who participate in both approaches are more successful in quitting than those who elect only medication-assisted management OR relapse prevention education only.
Smoking Cessation Education
Addiction – Understanding Why
Addiction – Understanding Relapse
- Imbalanced Decision Hierarchy in Addicts Emerging from Drug-Hijacked Dopamine Spiraling Circuit – 2013
ASAM’s new “Definition of Addiction” shifts away from focusing on the psychological element of addiction to redefining addiction as neurological disorder and an imbalance in the brain’s “reward circuitry,” referred to as ‘Reward Deficiency Syndrome’ (RDS).
“Reward Deficiency Syndrome,” a term first coined by Ken Blum in 1995, is now defined by the Microsoft Dictionary as “A brain reward genetic dissatisfaction or impairment that results in aberrant pleasure seeking behavior that includes cigarette smoking, other addictive drugs, excessive food, sex, gaming/gambling and other behaviors.” These other behaviors include an array of disorders, such as ADHD, Tics, Tourette Syndrome, autism, Asperger Syndrome, OCD, “perverted” sexual practices, binge eating and others. The relationships of these disorders becomes apparent with the understanding of the common genetic factors underlying them.
Associated with this new definition and understanding of addiction is a major paradigm shift in our approaches to treatment. For further information: Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)
Emphasis on Education
Accurate Clinic promotes patient education as the foundation of it’s medical care. In Dr. Ehlenberger’s integrative approach to patient care, including conventional and complementary and alternative medical (CAM) treatments, he may encourage or provide advice about the use of supplements. However, the specifics of choice of supplement, dosing and duration of treatment should be individualized through discussion with Dr. Ehlenberger. The following information and reference articles are presented to provide the reader with some of the latest research to facilitate evidence-based, informed decisions regarding the use of conventional as well as CAM treatments.
For medical-legal reasons, access to these links is limited to patients enrolled in an Accurate Clinic medical program.
Should you wish more information regarding any of the subjects listed – or not listed – here, please contact Dr. Ehlenberger. He has literally thousands of published articles to share on hundreds of topics associated with pain management, weight loss, nutrition, addiction recovery and emergency medicine. It would take years for you to read them, as it did him.
For more information, please contact Accurate Clinic.
Supplements recommended by Dr. Ehlenberger may be purchased commercially online or at Accurate Clinic.
Please read about our statement regarding the sale of products recommended by Dr. Ehlenberger.
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