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Freedom's "The Law of Addiction" thread

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The Law of Addiction: administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance

Activily supporting new cold turkey quitters from 1999 to 2016, Freedom was WhyQuit's original support group. In 2017 Freedom stopped accepting new members. This page is a restored reproduction of a key Freedom thread. If quitting cold turkey and seeking support, visit Turkeyville, Freedom's successor.

#16 | 07 Nov 2009 | Rosy

Knowledge is PowerJust doing some revision on the Law of Addiction - some prep for the weekend.

I have a university degree but have always been wary of the value of this thing called getting "an education". I have always had a huge respect for knowledge tho.

But the true Power of Knowledge has only really hit home when I found & explored this site - and then amazingly, quit smoking!!!!!!!!

With Love & Gratitude
Stopped Smoking for Twenty Eight Days, 15 Hours and 27 Minutes, by avoiding the use of 945 nicotine delivery devices. Quit Day : 09/10/2009.

#17 | 10 Nov 2009 | vancouverman


I agree. The way whyquit and FFN is layed out it makes it pretty clear that one needs to quit. I guess I milled aroung whyquit.com for about 3 days reading till I made the sudden decision to give them up. I have been trying to quit and thinking about quiting for sometime. The way that it lays out the raw truth is an eye opener. I think that people need to be shown the reality of smokeing and what it does to ones body. It jerked me right into reality that I may very well die and it may just be to late to save me from the damage to my body from years of abuse that I have put it through with all the smokeing. I have quit now and will never again take another puff.

I have been quit for 1 Week, 6 Days, 3 hours, 5 minutes and 44 seconds (13 days). I have saved $123.14 by not smoking 367 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Day, 6 hours and 35 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 10/28/2009 2:00 PM


#18 | 04 Jan 2010 | John

It is impossible to relapse so long as all nicotine remains on the outside

There was always only one rule:
NONE = NO Nicotine Ever!

#19 | 12 Apr 2010 | John

Tobacco addiction: a biochemical model of nicotine dependence

Journal: Medical Hypotheses. 2010 May; Volume 74(5): Pages 884-894. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

Authors: Ortells MO, Barrantes GE. Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Morón - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina. [mortells@retina.ar]


Nicotine is the main psychoactive substance present in tobacco, targeting in the CNS the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). The main effects of nicotine associated with smoking are nAChR upregulation, nAChR desensitization and modulation of the dopaminergic system. However, there is a lack of a comprehensive explanation of their roles that effectively makes clear how nicotine dependence might be established on those grounds.

Receptor upregulation is an unusual effect for a drug of abuse, because theoretically this implies less need for drug consumption. Receptor upregulation and receptor desensitization are commonly viewed as opposite, homeostatic mechanisms.

We here analyze the available information under a model in which both receptor upregulation and receptor desensitization are responsible for establishing a mechanism of nicotine dependence, consequently having an important role in starting and maintaining tobacco addiction.

We propose that negative feedbacks on dopamine release regulated by alpha4beta2 nAChRs are disrupted by nicotine. nAChR desensitization is the disrupting mechanism, while nAChR upregulation is the reinforcing process of nicotine dependence, which eventually initiates tobacco addiction.

PubMed Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19962246

#20 | 03 Sept 2010 | Johnnie

A wise businessman I worked for, way back before laptops were around, used to carry his business around in his shirt pocket, he would say. There, on an index card, he had the five or six essential things he felt he needed to know, about where biz was strong, where it needed work, etc. Nowadays most of us have laptops, PDAs, etc. But my old boss' idea still packs a lot of punch for me. And I hope to distill what I learn on this site down to a half-dozen or so Master Principles.

The Law of Addiction, of course, will always rule the roost.
Gratefully Gold

I escaped from the prison of smoking on August 14, 2010.
The best revenge is quitting well!

#21 | 31 Dec 2010 | John

I'll never be stronger than nicotine but then I don't need to be as it's only a chemical with an IQ of zero. It cannot plot, plan, think or conspire, and is not some monster that dwells within.

What I can do is become vastly more dependency recovery savvy than my addiction is strong!

Baby steps, just one lesson and pearl of wisdom at a time, yes you can!!!!

#22 | 7 June 2011 | John

The below new study followed 63 quitters assigned to two different groups for 14 days but only examined relapses which occurred within the first 9 days. One group was encouraged to not lapse while the other was told to smoke two of their own brand of cigarettes 48 hours after quitting. In that it only looked at the first nine days of quitting, the study's most important finding was the effect of smoking those two cigarettes on changes in craving.

The study found that although lapse initially diminished cravings (as would be expected following nicotine replenishment) that thereafter episode craving within the lapse group esclated:
"Among participants in the lapse condition, the hazard of relapse was estimated to be 12 times higher (12.42, 95% CI [2.00, 77.1] .007) after experiencing an increase in craving than it was among participants in the control condition who experienced stable craving."
Here's two more quotes from the full text of the study:
[P]eriods of abstinence following a lapse are typically short-lived: nearly every smoker who lapses eventually relapses (Brandon, Tiffany, Obremski, & Baker, 1990; Chornock, Stitzer, Gross, & Leischow, 1992; Garvey, Bliss, Hitchcock, Heinold, & Rosner, 1992).
From the "Discussion" portion of the paper:
The results of the current study, in combination with the results of other experimental studies (Chornock et al., 1992; Juliano et al., 2006), firmly establish that lapse has a causal relationship to relapse in smokers. The current study goes beyond these previous studies in that it provides new information about mediating mechanisms that link smoking lapses to relapses. Compared with participants in the no-lapse condition, participants who were assigned to lapse experienced an initial acute decrease in craving followed by a significant surge in craving. The surges in craving experienced by those in the lapse condition, which were observed after controlling for their baseline craving levels, explained their faster rate of relapse relative to participants in the control condition.

The field of tobacco control has long struggled to understand why smoking lapses nearly always lead to relapses. As a result, cognitive– behavioral and pharmacological interventions have had little success in helping smokers to avoid relapse.
The final point above suggests the importance of treating lapse as relapse, versus conventional quitting wisdom which invites lapse/relapse by teaching quitters: "Don't be discouraged if you slip up and smoke one or two cigarettes. It's not a lost cause," "One cigarette is better than an entire pack." "Understand that you've had a slip. You've had a small setback. This doesn't make you a smoker again," and "Don't be too hard on yourself. One slip up doesn't make you a failure."

As Joel says, it's like telling an alcoholic not to let a sip now and then put you back to drinking or a heroin addict not to allow shooting up put you back to using. That's horrible advice. What this study adds to the knowledge base is what most of us already knew. That while most who lapse walk away from it thinking that they've gotten away with using just once, that their brain will soon be begging for more. There was always only one rule ... no nicotine today, never take another puff, dip or chew!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John - Gold x12

Lapse-induced surges in craving influence relapse in adult smokers: An experimental investigation

Health Psychology, 2011 May 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Shadel WG, Martino SC, Setodji C, Cervone D, Witkiewitz K, Beckjord EB, Scharf D, Shih R


Objectives: Nearly all smokers who lapse experience a full-blown relapse, but the mediating mechanisms that contribute to this relationship are not well understood. A better understanding of these mechanisms would help to advance more effective relapse prevention treatments for smokers. The purpose of this study is to experimentally evaluate the effects of a programmed smoking lapse on smoking relapse and the effects of postlapse changes in craving on relapse.

Method: Adult smokers (n = 63) who quit smoking with a brief cognitive-behavioral intervention and self-help materials were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions after 48 h of abstinence: No lapse (a no-smoking control/30-min waiting period) or lapse (smoking two cigarettes of their favored brand during a 30-min period). All participants were then followed daily for 14 days. Craving and biochemically verified self-reported abstinence were assessed on each follow-up day. Time (days) to relapse (7 consecutive days of smoking) was the main dependent measure.

Results: Results of Cox regression analysis revealed that participants in the lapse condition relapsed more quickly than participants in the no-lapse condition (hazard ratio = 2.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.03, 4.35]). These effects were attributable, in part, to episodic increases in craving among participants in the lapse condition only (HR = 12.42, 95% CI =[2.00, 77.1]).

Conclusions: Previously abstinent smokers who lapse are at risk for increased cigarette cravings and consequently, full-blown relapse. These results have implications for both cognitive-behavioral treatments for relapse prevention and for medications designed to help smokers manage cravings.

Study Link: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2011-09908-001/

PubMed Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21574708

#23 | 03 July 2011 | FreedomNicotine

"Never Take Another Puff!"

I said it every day of the clinics, it's in almost all my posts, and you see it at the end of each of these short articles.  Even so, I still feel I cannot repeat it enough - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!  It is not that I am afraid that you will like the cigarette and decide how wonderful going back to smoking will be.  To the contrary, it will probably make you dizzy, nauseous, and generally sick.  You may absolutely hate yourself for having done it.  Even this, though, is not the problem.

The real danger is the reinforcement of the nicotine addiction.  It is a powerful addiction.  One puff can send you back to your old level of cigarette consumption within days.  We have had clinic participants who have previously quit smoking for periods exceeding 20 years.  One day they decide to try just one.  Even after this great period of time, the first cigarette is enough to start the whole addiction withdrawal process.

They are again hooked on a drug and within days their full chemical dependency returns.  All of the physical dangers, psychological problems, and tremendous expenses return to their previous levels.  If you do not believe this can happen to you, come into the first or second night of my next stop smoking clinic.  Listen to all of the new enrollees who are there to quit smoking.  These are people who were once off cigarettes for a substantial period of time before, people who liked not smoking, people who loved not smoking, people who now need help to once again reclaim their nonsmoking status because of one tragic mistake.  They were not immune to the first drag.  The odds are, neither are you. Consider this the next time you have a passing thought for a cigarette.

Now you have a choice.  You can remain an ex-smoker or you can become an addicted smoker once again.  Consider both options carefully.  Which way of life better suits you - a slave to a deadly weed or a truly free person?  The final decision is yours.  If you choose the latter, simply practice the following advice - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

© Joel Spitzer 1982

#24 | 02 Jan 2012 | John

Success is 100% guaranteed so long as all nicotine remains on the outside!

The next few moments are all you can control and each is do-able!

Yes you can!

#25 | 06 Feb 2012 | Findingme46

12 days 19hrs not smoking and feeling pretty good!!! Glad to be here I've been reading from these sites for along time finally decided to quit on jan 24/2012. I had one previous quit about 6years ago that didn't last very long. Tthe funny thing was I was doing very well and then thought why not try one puff from a friend at work (just to see if I remembered what it tasted like). The rest is 6 years of smoking history.

I've been smoking roughly 32 years. Hoping all the newbies and the oldbies stay smoke free forever! And praying the ones that haven't quit yet will realize how very do-able it is and find themselves on the road to better health and freedom now!!!

#26 | 29 May 2012 | mikevio

Great info!

#27 | 20 July 2012 | Cassie1

Thanks for this site and article. I read it over and over. Stating day 5- nicotine free. My motto- no nicitine - just for today. Enjoying all the information here. Thank you.

#28 | 21 July 2012 | zooman1234

It gets easier and easier as the days go by. Take it one day at a time.

#29 | 12 June 2014 | John

Link to higher resolution copy of this image for sharing:

Our sincere thanks to all helping share quitting's only rule!

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