The 2 types of psychological treatments for tobacco addiction
Let's take a look at how the main types of psychological treatments for tobacco addiction work.
Perhaps whoever is reading this article is trying to quit their tobacco addiction or is trying to help someone who wants to quit smoking. This is only natural, since smoking is one of the most common and most harmful addictions.
Be that as it may, in this article you will find the most important information about the main types of treatment for smoking addiction. types of tobacco addiction treatments.
The harmful effects of tobacco use
It is estimated that tobacco contains approximately 2,550 components, which increase exponentially when the cigarette is lit, with two of them being the most representative.The most representative of which are two: tar and nicotine. The latter is the one that really has the addictive power of tobacco, in addition to producing harmful effects at the cardiovascular level.
Tobacco addiction is so great that it is estimated to have an addiction rate of 32%. is estimated to have an addiction rate of 32%, which is much higher than that of other substances such as, for example, tobacco.This is much higher than that of other substances such as, for example, alcohol, which has an addiction rate of 15%, and cannabis, which has an addiction rate of 10%. This allows us to deduce, in part, the reason for the extreme difficulty in successfully completing any of the different types of treatment for quitting tobacco addiction.
Among the many problems caused by addiction are the following, which will be discussed below.
Firstly, there are cardiovascular diseases. Several studies estimate that 1 out of every 5 deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases are due to tobacco consumption.
These data have been found on the occasion of the relationship between nicotine consumption and the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which causes an increase in heart rate and Blood pressure.
With respect to cancer, it is well known and widely researched that tobacco plays an important role in its appearance and, specifically, lung cancer is the one that develops most frequently. It has been estimated that 4 out of every 5 deaths due to cancer caused by habitual tobacco consumption are due to lung cancer..
Skin aging is another of the most common consequences of tobacco addiction. Researchers found, by analyzing a number of subjects, that regular and prolonged tobacco consumption produces "cigarette skin", characterized by pale skin.characterized by pale, grayish and wrinkled skin. In another study, tobacco addiction during youth was associated with premature appearance of wrinkles in the skin.
Tobacco use is also linked to is also associated with sexual dysfunctionsmoking also has a harmful effect on the smallest arteries, which hinders the erection process. It is worth mentioning that a recent investigation discovered that there was an improvement in the sexual response in men when they abandoned tobacco addiction and this could be due to the increase of the parasympathetic activity of their organism.
Other smoking-related data that should be highlighted are the following:
- It is estimated to cause 80% of deaths from respiratory diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
- Research has found that addiction to tobacco is associated with the appearance of ulcers and with having more chances of catching a cold.
- Studies agree on the relationship found between habitual tobacco consumption and having a lower density of bone mass.
Main types of psychological treatment for tobacco smoking.
There is research that concluded that if a person with tobacco addiction manages to quit for a minimum of 16 years, his or her life expectancy could be comparable to that of a person who has never smoked..
However, this life expectancy is not the same in all cases, since it has been found that quitting smoking reduces the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, but this does not occur with the reduction in the risk of developing lung cancer in those who have a long history of smoking.
In the social sphere, smoking was once socially viewed in a positive way; in contrast, it is now seen in a positive light.but now the opposite is beginning to be true.
In a recent study it was found that 90% of the participating subjects would prefer to have relationships with non-smokers, and among the reasons were the smell of tobacco, not being able to stand the smoke or the bad breath that smoking could cause.
Therefore, it is important to it is important to take advantage of the most effective techniques and treatments for tobacco addiction, which we will see below.which we will see below.
Multicomponent treatment for tobacco addiction.
This treatment for smoking cessation can be applied both individually and in groups and is carried out during 6 or 7 sessions.. These sessions have an approximate duration of 1 hour and with a frequency of one session per week.
The most important technique used in this treatment is known as RGINA (Gradual Reduction of Nicotine and Tar Intake), and it consists of the following objectives:
- To make a baseline assessment, which consists of knowing the number of cigarettes per day that you usually consume.
- Gradually reduce the amount of tar and nicotine consumed through a weekly change to another brand that you are not used to smoking, so that your feeling of reward when smoking is reduced.
Instructions are also given to to fill out a self-recording sheet every day, noting the number of cigarettes they have smoked. The number of cigarettes consumed is recorded so that the gradual reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked can be seen in a graphical manner.
The aim of this method is to to reduce cigarette consumption little by little until a certain goal is reached (p. e.g., consume half of what you used to) and, at the moment you are ready, to completely eradicate the smoking habit.
This is a good option for people who have a fairly prominent addiction to tobacco, so it would be almost impossible for them to quit smoking all at once, since the withdrawal syndrome would cause them tremendous discomfort.
It is of great help if the patient has a friend, partner or family member to lean on at all times and, above all, when his or her strength to fight against tobacco addiction weakens.
The treatment begins with information on the advantages of gradual reduction of tobacco consumption, followed by the recommendation of some guidelines on the completion of the tobacco leaflet. The patient should write down how often he/she usually smokes and at what times and places he/she usually smokes.The patient and the psychologist can see the critical situations that lead to increased consumption.
It is also advisable to agree on a therapeutic contract in which the guidelines to be followed by the patient and the goals to be achieved on a weekly basis are established.
In this phase psychoeducation about tobacco and the problems its prolonged use could cause is carried out, accompanied by a pamphlet made by professionals to illustrate it.. Afterwards, the self-record completed last week is analyzed in order to observe the moments in which the desire to smoke increases.
It is followed by advice on how to control the stimuli that cause the desire to smoke in order to learn how to control it. (p. e.g., places where you feel the urge to smoke the most, times of day when you smoke most often, etc.).
In the group sessions, the reasons and disadvantages of trying to quit smoking addiction will be discussed.
In this phase, we begin by helping the patient to solve possible problems he/she encountered last week in reducing cigarette consumption.
Afterwards, the self-report is analyzed, encouraging the patient to continue to reduce consumption gradually and, if he/she is ready, to and, if he/she feels ready, he/she should achieve a reduction of smoking to half of what he/she used to consume.
It is also important to continue analyzing together the stimuli and situations that provoke a greater desire to smoke in order to help him/her to acquire guidelines and habits that can counteract this desire..
In line with the previous session, we begin with the resolution of difficulties that occurred in the previous week when continuing with a reduced consumption of tobacco. We continue with the analysis of the self-recording of consumption in order to continue helping the patient with the situational and personal control when wanting to smoke more intensely. when it comes to wanting to smoke more intensely.
Following the same dynamic as the previous sessions, we begin by solving problems that have arisen in the previous week with respect to his or her smoking habit, an analysis of the self-record of tobacco consumption is carried out and, finally, the patient is instructed to set the objective of the session, the patient is given the objective of completely eliminating the smoking habit from that moment on, working on and reinforcing the strategies learned in the previous week.The patient is then instructed to work on and reinforce the strategies previously learned to control the situations and stimuli that increase the urge to smoke.
Sessions 6 and 7
As in the other weeks, the sessions begin by helping the patient to discuss and resolve any problems that may have arisen in maintaining total abstinence from tobacco use.
Next, abstinence symptoms are assessed, the abstinence symptoms that have appeared are evaluated to help the patient manage strategies to keep them at bay as much as possible. as much as possible.
Skills training is continued to enable the patient to deal with the risk situations that increase the urge to smoke and, in addition, to practice behaviors that involve smoking, behaviors are practiced that represent an alternative to carry out in those moments in which he/she is tempted to resume the habit of smoking..
- Article related: "Syndrome of abstinence to drugs: its types and symptoms".
Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment (CBT) for smoking addiction
CBT, as a treatment for tobacco addiction, has a high efficacy proven in several researches and is characterized by the use of several techniques with the objective of treating several problems of different nature that intervene in the maintenance of the smoking habit.
In the first sessions of this treatment, the main objective is to try to motivate the patient in his or her commitment to change habits In order to achieve this, strategies such as the contingency contract are used, which consists of agreeing on the guidelines to be followed with respect to the smoking habit in order to achieve a reduction in consumption. On the other hand, the advantages and disadvantages of smoking cessation are discussed.
This treatment also uses the technique commonly known as RGINAwith the aim of gradually reducing cigarette consumption.
Other strategies used in CBT are the control of stimuli related to habitual tobacco consumption, training in problem-solving when quitting the habit, changing lifestyle habits to healthier ones such as regular physical exercise and training in self-management of stress.
CBT, after achieving complete smoking cessation, focuses mainly on enhancing the patient's strategies to prevent relapse.. To this end, strategies are practiced to manage risk situations, training of strategies to refuse smoking and the search for social support, through people close to the patient or, if necessary, support associations for people in the same situation.
The duration of CBT for smoking cessation, in the most intensive formats, consists of 1 weekly session of 60-90 minutes for 6-12 weeks. Subsequent follow-up sessions are very important to help the patient maintain abstinence or, in case of relapse, to encourage the patient to resume a new quit attempt.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)