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Imagine, for a second, that Freedom is a heroin recovery support group instead of nicotine. Picture each of us as recovering heroin addicts and none of us smokers. When a "great" EXCUSE for relapse comes along what would we each consider putting into our blood stream? Nicotine? No, the thought would never cross our minds. Instead, we'd reach for heroin as we sold our minds on the belief that we could handle "just one" fix and now had the "perfect" reason for injecting it. The recovering alcoholic, the cocaine addict, they'd each reach for their own substance and similar junkie thinking.
All dependency experts agree that the ability of a drug to produce an intoxicating type high is not a measure of its power to create permanent chemical dependency in those who use it. In every drug comparison research study that I've been able to locate (three so far) nicotine has ranked first in "dependence" when compared to heroin, cocaine or alcohol. We can either use this information as another "excuse" or as "motivation" for getting serious about taking our lives back. It will never be easier than it is today to keep our addiction under arrest.
This isn't new information either. The first study findings made headlines in 1988 when the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Koop, proclaimed to the world that nicotine was addictive in the same sense as heroin and cocaine. Science has come a long way but there is still much to learn.
We would later learn that the Surgeon General's study findings were only 25 years behind what the tobacco companies had long known. Today we can read industry documents from 1963 declaring that "Moreover, nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug." Addison Yeaman, Vice President and General Counsel, Brown & Williamson.
Today we can read industry research papers teaching tobacco industry executives that exact same information that we're all doing our best to share with you here at Freedoma. For example a 1972 Philip Morris document prepared by William L. Dunn, a senior researcher, says ...Today scientists are just beginning to understand how addictive substances interact with and alter the brain's normal dopamine delivery circuits to give each type of addict a bit different "aaahhh" sensation. We don't need to become brain scientists in order to taste victory in our lives. All we need to do is remember the most important lesson of all - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!"The cigarette should not be construed as a product but a package. The product is nicotine. Think of a puff of smoke as the vehicle for nicotine."Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! JohnNo excuse justifies drug relapse - none!
No matter how far we travel or how deep & rich our comfort becomes, just as with the recovering alcoholic, our arrested dependency travels with us. The key to staying on this side of the bars is in keeping all nicotine out of our bloodstream! There was always only one rule ... no nicotine today ...
It has now been over two years since I last had anything that could honestly be called an "urge" to want to smoke nicotine. Will I feel an urge this year? Maybe but right now I can't see how as I know far too many who are suffering far too much for me to have any reason to want to do the same.
But let me tell you about the last urge that I did have back in December of 2001. It was very real yet extremely brief and brought a smile to my face during every second of the encounter. Why? Well it reminded of where I'd been, how far I'd come but that my dependency had traveled with me. It reminded me of daily life as an addict and having lots of daily urges just like it. It was no more intense than most of them.
We're each different and every recovery is different, I'm probably far from typical of the average 30 year three-pack-a-day ex-smoker who is less than 2 months away from 5 years of freedom. But even if I had 100 urges during 2004 none would take my money, destroy my healing, steal my dreams or shorten my life! This amazing sense of comfort is my gift to me and it's a keeper! John (Gold)
The holiday season is upon us. If this is your first nicotine-free journey through December and a new year it would be prudent to review your list of reasons for commencing recovery and to try hard to remember what life was like when nicotine's two-hour chemical half-life was the clock calling the shots.
Try hard to remember exactly what it was really like living on the other side of the bars living with diminished lung capacity, strange sounds associated with waking or breathing, the endless string of mandatory daily feedings, keeping supplied, avoiding activities lasting longer than 2 hours, how you felt after a brief period of sudden exertion, standing alone in all forms of weather just you and a chemical, running out, digging up enough money, the emergency trip to your supplier, the world begging you to come to your senses, declining health, your stink announcing your arrival, family begging you to stop before you killed yourself and a 50% chance that they'd be right.
Millions of words here at Freedom but just one abiding principle governing the outcome for all ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Dip, Chew or Puff!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long Freedom! John (Gold x5)
Tearing Down the Wall
by John R. Polito
Nicotine Cessation Educator[/size]