Why did we feel so good?
"Chronic nicotine use induces neuroadaptations in the brain’s reward system that result in the development of nicotine dependence. Thus, nicotine-dependent smokers must continue nicotine intake to avoid distressing somatic and affective withdrawal symptoms. Newly abstinent smokers experience symptoms such as depressed mood, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, craving, bradycardia, insomnia, gastrointestinal discomfort, and weight gain (Shiffman and Jarvik, 1976; Hughes et al., 1991)."
"Nicotine influences mood, cognition, and body function by binding to and activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) located on neurons in the brain. When activated by either nicotine or the endogenous neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the nAChR opens a channel that allows ions to pass through the neuron’s membrane from the exterior to the interior of the cell and trigger changes that activate the cell."
"Nicotine produces rewarding effects by interacting with nAChRs on neurons in the brain’s mesolimbic reward system. This system comprises dopaminergic neurons that originate in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and release the neurotransmitter dopamine in regions involved in information processing, memory, and emotions, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Increases in dopamine levels within the mesolimbic system give rise to rewarding effects. Nicotine directly enhances dopamine levels in the mesolimbic system by interacting with nAChRs on the dopaminergic neurons and causing them to release more of the neurotransmitter (Balfour, 2009; Barrett et al., 2004; Koob and Volkow, 2010). Nicotine also modulates dopamine release indirectly by binding to nAChRs located on excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory gamma aminobutyric acid (GABAergic) neurons in the VTA. These glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons originate from a number of brain areas, such as the NAc, hippocampus, PFC, amygdala, ventral pallidum, and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, and regulate the activity of dopaminergic neurons."
OR to melt all that down to English - we're Addicts! Nicotine robbed our natural Dopamine process and in Recovery, we have to get it back! All that blah, blah, blah wasn't just talking tobacco - it speaks of Nicotine - NRTs have Nicotine! They still do the same Addictive things that Sickerettes do. Slowly cutting back while doing things to stimulate Dopamine is the way out!
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