How does Nicotine Stack up against other addictions

musician smokefree
musician smokefree

January 10th, 2007, 3:14 pm #1

I believe Nicotine is the worst addiction known to mankind. Having dealt with several others in my lifetime, I am curious if others feel the same way. And to be honest I want to brag a little because I feel that getting through a week without any nicotine after 30 straight years of never going more than a 3 or 4 conscious hours without in my system is a major acomplishment and I am delirously excited about it. Without Whyquit, Joel, and everyone at Freedom's great support it wouldn't have happened. Anyway it's time to make some comparisons in order to determine where nicotine addiction ranks in the rhealm of addiction / abuse. For starters let's define our terms.

Addiction: Strong dependence or habitual use of a substance or practice, despite the negative consequences of its use.
( The term USE then becomes ABUSE )

Serious damage and/or death that is extremely difficult to avoid is what nicotine addiction means. If there is anyone who has never had an addiction of any kind, more power to them, personally, I don't know anyone like that.

Logic dicates that these four factors should come into play when analyzing addictions.

1.) How 'universally' addictive is it. In other words what percentage of people exposed to it become addicted and how
much exposure does it take to cause addiction.

2.) How easy is it to become exposed to. Is it legal, readily available, and is there a lot of social pressure to be exposed? Is it advertised? Are there people trying to expose you to it. Is it peer pressure and are there salespeople? Do they use PR campaigns and/or professional advertising?

3.) How damaging is this addiction. Can it kill you, or will it merely embarass you or perhaps both and a lot of other things in between?

4.) How difficult is it to quit thus avoiding or minimizing damage.


Criteria number 1. ) Universal addictiveness. There are not many people who can be 'Social Smokers'. I would venture to guess that Nicotine is near the top of this list.

Criteria number 2. ) Ease of exposure. Heroin and other illegal drug pushers have to deal with the law in most corners of the world. This presents a lot of problems where advertising and Television promotions are concerned. :) Nevertheless pushers are still able to deliver to their loyal clientelle. But nowhere near as effectively as nicotine though. Prescription painkillers and overeating do pretty well in this area but aren't as strong in Criteria number 1.

Criteria number 3. ) How damaging is this addiction? This is where nicotine takes all the competition out and slams them into the ground hard - along with over 1200 body bags daily and that's just in America.

Criteria number 4. ) Difficulty to stop. Maybe - and this is a big maybe - something on this list outweighs nicotine in terms of being more dificult to give up. Nicotine takes control over 90 percent of the reward pathways in the brain. Not only that but when one decides to stop there is an entire PR industry out there with a wealth of disinformation.

Even if one of these other addictions is somehow able to squeeze out a victory in the area of difficulty in stopping
Nicotine is definately the overall winner. I would even venture to call it a landslide ( with a lot of bodies underneath it.)


Now we all know that these criteria vary from one case to the next thus making it more difficult to actuate
comparisons. But I have a gut feeling that Nicotine will turn out to be the hands-down winner over every other
addiction known to mankind.

When we USE a substance there is a desired effect and there are little or no harmful side effects afterwards.
For example ; We take an aspirin for a headache and feel better and there is very little or no damage as a result.

When we AB-USE a substance there is a desired effect yet there are harmful side effects that outweigh the
desired results. For example ; if we find out that aspirin is destroying our liver and that headaches don't go away
from it anymore then the good no longer outweighs the bad and to use it further then becomes abuse.

That being said - Use and Abuse are related. The line where something turns from use into abuse is often subtle
and addiction is the 'glue' that can perpetuate abuse. Logically someone wouldn't continue to use
something that did more damage than good unless there was an addiction. There are a lot of things people can become
addicted to.

For example we can become addicted to :

nicotine
playing video games
watching TV
Surfing the Internet
driving fast
getting tattoo's
relationships
pornography
Overeating
cocaine
work
heroin
polyester
sniffing turpentine ( huffing )
alcohol
marijuanna
prescription painkillers
shrill and loud musical instruments like the bagpipes....
Barbiturates and Benzodiazepine
aerosol sniffing
Amphetamines - Crystal meth - Speed - Crank
Attention
Gambling
Codependancy - Approval
glue sniffing
soap operas
American Idol

feel free to add some of your own personal favorites to this list ....

Personally I think bagpipes are the most offensive to others but I sometimes have strange taste...

I wanted to share my thoughts on addictions and some reasons to NEVER Take Another Puff.



Dale
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RobinS614
RobinS614

January 10th, 2007, 4:46 pm #2

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AnitaMCK
AnitaMCK

January 10th, 2007, 9:24 pm #3

I read a book several years ago, one of the many things I tried to do to help me quit smoking. It mentioned a study that was done. It was a blind study with hard core drug addicts. It gave them all different drugs, and then asked them to say which one was their favorite. Most of them voted for the drug that they later found out was nicotine (they didn't know what drugs were being administered to them, it was a blind study). When they asked them what they thought the drug was, they guessed it to be cocaine. So, they voted for nicotine, above heroin, cocaine, and all the other hard core drugs being administered. I do not know the effects of those other illegal hard core drugs, but it is mind boggling that hard core drug addicts voted nicotine to be their favorite, when they didn't know what they were getting. Gives me chills!

I believe that nicotine is the most addictive harmful drug in the world, yet, alas, still legal. I am heartbroken that my niece is dating someone who is a smoker.

Congratulations on your quit!

AnitaMCK - Free and Healing for Two Years, Six Months, One Day, 9 Hours and 54 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 47 Days and 16 Hours, by avoiding the use of 13731 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $2,852.19.

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RobinS614
RobinS614

January 10th, 2007, 9:28 pm #4

Comparisons between nicotine addiction and heroin or cocaine addiction are routinely made in this forum - especially the point that nicotine addiction is considered to be stronger than heroin or cocaine addiction . An appreciation of just how strong this addiction is - by comparison to cocaine or heroin addiction - can be a helpful tool in either quitting or in staying quit - both of which cannot even remotely be considered "diversionary" to this particular support group. The contents of the post may be open to debate or even correction but the posts title is (in my opinion) very relevant to the issue of nicoine cessation.

Dale, I see now that your post was a celebratory Woo Hoo on graduating glory week. So, many congratulations and keep up the good work.
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musician smokefree
musician smokefree

January 11th, 2007, 10:49 am #5

AnitaMCK - That is very interesting. Do you remember the name of the book? The reason I mention this is that I am also a lifetime member of NA and have been in recovery for 8 years now. I find analogies and comparisons to be a crucial part of logic and understanding. Kind of in the same way that going Cold Turkey and going Educated Cold Turkey differ. Being nicotine free seems to have retriggered a lot of old thought and feelings during the last few days. Some of them are mentioned above. For example the "Use and Abuse" definitions above were taught to me in an outpatient clinic for crystal meth addiction. Anyways, Thanks for your input. NTAP !!!!


RobinS614 - There is definately a WOO HOO there Thanks for your input. NTAP !!!! BTW, I am always open to the idea of correction. Without some degree of open mindedness one would never learn anything.

Dale
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tcouch0
tcouch0

January 12th, 2007, 5:42 am #6

I am using what I have learned here to help my sister who is a one year recovering alcoholic. She is having a strong urge to drink right now and he boyfriend told her he liked her better when she was drinking. I use alot of the same advice I get here to help her make it through. She is also a smoker and wants to quit that too, and I want to help her by giving her the knowledge she needs to do so. This is the best web site I have ever visited in my life. It has helped me with my nicotine addiction, and helps my sister for her alcohol addiction too. An addiction to alcohol is very similar to a nicotine addiction. The same destructive mental mind games go on that prevent you from quitting, and both are legal drugs. Both are BAD!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 12th, 2007, 6:12 am #7

Relative Addictiveness of Drugs By Philip J. Hilts, New York Times, Aug. 2, 1994

Is Nicotine Addictive? It Depends on Whose Criteria You Use. Experts say the definition of addiction is evolving.

WASHINGTON - When heavily dependent users of cocaine are asked to compare the urge to take cocaine with the urge to smoke cigarettes, about 45 percent say the urge to smoke is as strong or stronger than that for cocaine.

Among heroin' addicts, about 3 percent rank the urge to smoke as equal to or stronger than the urge to take heroin. Among those addicted to alcohol, about 50 percent say the urge to smoke is at least as strong as the urge to drink.

Yet seven chief executives of tobacco companies testified under oath before a Congressional subcommittee in April that nicotine was not addictive. Experts in addiction disagree with that assessment, hut they say that the definition of addiction is evolving, and that they can see how such a statement might be made. <3>Hearings on Smoking This week, the Food and Drug Administration is holding hearings to consider whether cigarettes fit in the array of addictive drugs and whether the Government should regulate them.

The standard definition of addiction comes from the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization, which list nine criteria for determining addiction. The two groups, which prefer the term drug dependence, base their definition on research done since the 1960's, which has determined that multiple traits must be considered in determining whether a substance is addictive. Thus although cigarettes do not offer as intense an effect as drugs like heroin and cocaine, they rank higher in a number of other factors. They not only create dependence among users but also elicit a high degree of tolerance, the need for more and more of drug to satisfy a craving. When all the factors are added up, the consensus among scientists is that nicotine is strongly addictive.

In smoking, it is not the nicotine addiction that is most harmful, but other toxic chemicals produced by burning tobacco, which cause most of the 400,000 deaths each year that are attributed to smoking.

Dr. Lynn T. Koslowski, an addiction expert at Pennsylvania State University, said addiction could generally be defined as "the repeated use of a psychoactive drug which is difficult to stop." He added that there might be many explanations for why it was hard to stop, including withdrawal that was too disturbing, or a high that was too enticing.

A diagnosis of mild dependence on a psychoactive drug is determined by meeting three of the nine criteria. Five items show moderate dependence and seven items indicate a strong dependence. (Not all nine items apply to each drug. For example, time and effort spent acquiring a drug are a significant feature of heroin addiction, but have no meaning in nicotine addiction.) <3>Criteria of Addiction
  1. Taking the drug more often or in larger amounts than intended.
  2. Unsuccessful attempts to quit; persistent desire, craving.
  3. Excessive time spent in drug seeking.
  4. Feeling intoxicated at inappropriate times, or feeling withdrawal symptoms from a drug at such times.
  5. Giving up other things for it.
  6. Continued use, despite knowledge of harm to oneself and others.
  7. Marked tolerance in which the amount needed to satisfy increases at first before leveling off.
  8. Characteristic withdrawal symptoms for particular drugs.
  9. Taking the drug to relieve or avoid withdrawal.
Before applying a test of the nine criteria, the expert first determines if the symptoms have persisted for at least a month or have occurred repeatedly over a longer period of time.

Asked about the tobacco executives' testimony on addiction, Dr. Kozlowski said, "In a way, I can see how they could say that. It has to do with a mistaken image of what addiction is, and I have many well-educated, intelligent people say something like that to me. People often think of a person taking one injection of heroin and becoming hopelessly addicted for the rest of their lives. That is wrong."

In addition, he said, when people tend to think of the high that heroin produces, one that is about as intense as cocaine and alcohol, they cannot believe cigarettes are in the same category. And they are not. Even though in large doses nicotine can cause a strong high and hallucinations, the doses used in cigarettes produce only a very mild high.

But researchers now know, says Dr. Jack Henningfield, chief of clinical pharmacology at the Addiction Research Center of the Government's National Institute on Drug Abuse, that many qualities are related to a drug's addictiveness, and the level of intoxication it produces may be one of the least important.

If one merely asks how much pleasure the drugs produce, as researchers used to do and tobacco companies still do, then heroin or cocaine and nicotine do not seem to be in the same category. Dr. Kozlowki said, "It's not that cigarettes are without pleasure, but the pleasure is not in the same ball park with heroin."

But now, he said, there are more questions to ask. "If the question is How hard is it to stop? then nicotine a very impressive drug," he said. "Its urges are very similar to heroin."

Among the properties of a psychoactive drug - how much craving it can cause, how severe is the withdrawal, how intense a high it brings - each addicting drug has its own profile.

Heroin has a painful. powerful withdrawal, as does alcohol. But cocaine has little or no withdrawal. On the other hand, cocaine is more habit-forming in some respects, it is more reinforcing in the scientific terminology, meaning that animals and humans will seek to use it frequently in short periods of time, even over food and water.

Drugs rank differently on the scale of how difficult they are to quit as well, with nicotine rated by most experts as the most difficult to quit.

Moreover, it is not merely the drug that determines addiction, says Dr. john R. Hughes, an addiction expert at the University of Vermont. It is also the person, and the circumstances in the person's life. A user may be able to resist dependence at one time and not at another.

A central property of addiction is the user's control over the substance. With all drugs. including heroin, many are occasional users. The addictive property of the substance can be measured by how many users maintain a casual habit and how many are persistent, regular users.

According to large Government surveys of alcohol users, only about 15 percent are regular. dependent drinkers. Among cocaine users, about 8 percent become dependent. For cigarettes, the percentage is reversed. About 90 percent of smokers are persistent daily users, and 55 percent become dependent by official American Psychiatric Association criteria, according to a study by Dr. Naomi Breslau of the Henry Ford Health Sciences Center in Detroit. Only 10 percent are occasional users.

Surveys also indicate that two-thirds to four-fifths of smokers want to quit but cannot, even after a number of attempts. Dr. John Robinson, a psychologist who works for the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, contests the consensus view of nicotine as addictive. Using the current standard definition of addiction, he said at a recent meeting on nicotine addiction, he could not distinguish "crack smoking from coffee drinking, glue sniffing from jogging. heroin from carrots and cocaine from colas."

It is not that Dr. Robinson and other scientists supported by tobacco companies disagree with the main points made by mainstream scientists. but that they define addiction differently. Dr. Robinson says intoxication that is psychologically debilitating is the major defining trait of an addicting substance. It is a feature that was part of standard definitions of the 1950's, and is still linked to popular ideas about addiction, but which experts now say is too simplistic and has been left behind as scientific evidence accumulates.

Experts Rate Problem Substances
  • Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz of the University of California at San Francisco ranked six substances based on five problem areas.
  • Withdrawal: Presence and severity of characteristic withdrawal symptoms.
  • Reinforcement: A measure of the substance's ability, in human and animal tests, to get users to take it again and again, and in preference to other substances.
  • Tolerance: How much of the substance is needed to satisfy increasing cravings for it, and the level of stable need that is eventually reached.
  • Dependence: How difficult it is for the user to quit, the relapse rate, the percentage of people who eventually become dependent, the rating users give their own need for the substance and the degree to which the substance will be used in the face of evidence that it causes harm.
  • Intoxication: Though not usually counted as a measure of addiction in itself, the level of intoxication is associated with addiction and increases the personal and socIal damage a substance may do.
1= most serious
HENNINGFIELD RATINGS
Substance
Withdrawal
Reinforcement
Tolerance
Dependence
Intoxication
Nicotine
3
4
2
1
5
Heroin
2
2
1
2
2
Cocaine
4
1
4
3
3
Alcohol
1
3
3
4
1
Caffeine
5
6
5
5
6
Marijuana
6
5
6
6
4
BENOWITZ RATINGS
Substance
Withdrawal
Reinforcement
Tolerance
Dependence
Intoxication
Nicotine
3*
4
4
1
6
Heroin
2
2
2
2
2
Cocaine
3*
1
1
3
3
Alcohol
1
3
4
4
1
Caffeine
4
5
3
5
5
Marijuana
5
6
5
6
4
* Equal ratings
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musician smokefree
musician smokefree

January 12th, 2007, 9:35 pm #8

John,

First, thank you for the infomative and well researched post. Very interesting. Don't you think that the different criteria should be given different weight values in the total analysis? I would think that tolerance should have less bearing that dependance and perhaps a category for assessing damage ( deaths per year ) or something in that area for really seeing just how "mean" each addiction is. Damage done should have a higher bearing that any of their criteria they mention cause this is what makes the addiction bad in the first place.... Does that make sense? They are supossedly experts but I've learned not to trust 'experts' blindly over the years and always like to reserve the right to ask questions....

tcouch0 , While there are many key similarities between this board and AA, NA etc.. I wouldn't substitute if for trips to NA or AA or al-anon meetings. Do all of the above...

12 step programmes and Freedom

Alcohol addiction - comparisons, resources...

When an addiction has control, it's common for the person suffering to blame a host of outside influences for their addiction.

ie; " I have to drink/smoke/shoot up etc... to deal with (fill in a variety of excuses here)."

There is a mental pattern there. It's called misdirection. It's usually not done intentionally or even consciously but the behavioral pattern becomes a habit over the years. It usually take many years in the program to clear these kinds of behavorial patterns. The truth is that there's only ONE reason that an addict uses their drug of choice. It's because that what addicts do. There is no logic, rhyme or reason to it. A fish swims, a bird flies and an addict uses. This is Why Joel insists on 72 hours detox before acceptance to the board. Once the crazyness of the 'physical addiction' is over, then the mental aspects can be sorted out and dealt with one at a time.




Dale
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musician smokefree
musician smokefree

January 12th, 2007, 9:43 pm #9

This is something I learned about at NA meeting and i was wondering if this "triangle" also relatesd to nicotine addiction.


Something else to be aware of in case you weren't already. There's a thing known as a - Victim - Persecutor - Rescuer

" T R I A N G L E "


( victim - the addict)

/\
/ \
/ \
/ \
/ \
/ \
/ \
/ \
/ \
--------------------------

( Persecutor ) ( Rescuer)






This is a concept that should to be understood by both addicts and people close to them. Three people are involved in this social disfunction. 1.) The Victim ( the addict who positions everyone involved ) 2.) The Persecutor ( the reason or excuse the addict uses ) and 3.) The Rescuer ( the person who enables the addict to continues using and blaming the persecutor for the addicts use ). Quite often persecutors and rescuers are spouses, parents, friends and people who care. Both Persecutors and Rescuers often change positions regularly as necessary in order to feed the addicts need to use. This manipulation is the handywork of the victim ( the addict ). Statements like "My boyfriend likes me better when I drink." can be very useful to an addict if than get you to become a rescuer (enabler)... This way if and when she slips - It's all someone else's fault. If she gets you or someone else to believe it then you are supposed to come to her rescue ( after she got away with going off the wagon blame free for a while) ....

Stay out of the Triangle - Be neither a persecutor or a rescuer. This doesn't mean stop loving them but show your love in another way by refusing to enable them.

Dale
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 17th, 2007, 8:12 am #10

It's rather easy for us nicotine addicts to see our alert dopamine/ adrenaline high in an entire different light than the heroin addict's numb dopamine high or the alcoholic's drunken dopamine high. But for just one moment imagine what our world would be like if all nicotine use were suddenly declared illegal. How would demand for nicotine stack up against other drugs? Although the penalties are vastly different, the following article can be rather sobering. John

Black Market In Tobacco
Makes Prisons More Violent

New America Media

April 13, 2007


Commentary, Dwight E. Abbott


Editor's Note: The new ban on tobacco products in California state prisons has created a valuable black market commodity --with all the dangers that go with it, writes Dwight Abbott. Abbott is serving a long prison sentence at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, California. His book, "I Cried, You Didn't Listen," about growing up in the California Youth Authority in the 1950s, has just been republished by AK Press.

SALINAS VALLEY STATE PRISON, Soledad, Calif. -- The Department of Corrections (and Rehabilitation) knew it was going to happen before it banned tobacco products from California prisons. An "experiment" was conducted for several years earlier in the California Medical Facility state prison in Vacaville banning all tobacco. Within weeks, tobacco was being smuggled into the prison by visitors and guards. One $10, six-ounce can of Bugler tobacco then sold for $50.00, gradually increasing to $300.00. Individual cigarettes or "rollies" (400 can be made), first priced at $1.00, became $10.00 each. Three months passed, and a pack of Camel cigarettes was selling for $150.00 plus. Violence erupted as profits proved tobacco to be more valuable than drugs. Everybody wanted a piece of the action.

No matter those disheartening findings, to "improve working conditions and cut health care cost among inmates," the DOC bulled forward: there would be no smoking by inmates or guards beginning July, 2005. The results, as expected, mirror exactly what occurred at the California Medical Facility. Black marketing of tobacco became more profitable than marijuana or heroin, with penalties - if caught - a misdemeanor criminal offense, at worst. "So what if I get caught? What are they going to do to me?" asked one mother. "My son smokes, I smoke, and I won't be in jail but a minute, if that."

"****, my family was smuggling drugs in to me so I can help support them. Now, they bring me tobacco instead. We are living better, and they don't have to worry about going to jail on a felony," bragged one prison friend of mine.

Lt. K. Calhoun, a correctional officer at Northern Sierra prison camp, told one reporter, "I've never seen anything like it. A pack of cigarettes sells for $125.00!"

At 172,000 convicts, California has the largest prison population in our nation, filled with some of the most criminally sophisticated men and women in this country. Rather than limiting prisoners to "smokeless" tobacco products only, as most of the other states have done, state officials decided California would be one of only a few states to ban all tobacco products.

"We're going to get ours," one "gangster" told me. "Money is good."

"Yeah," his comrade followed up. "DOC knew what they were starting. All it has to do now to stop it is allow 'smokeless' products like the other states do."

Tobacco will always be in prisons, just as there has always been every kind of illegal drug. There has been an increase in family members and friends willing to smuggle tobacco in, viewing it as a harmless pastime for incarcerated loved ones who have few to no other pleasures.

Inmates caught smoking risk little to no discipline. Most of the guards who once smoked here are now chewing tobacco (a violation) while others continue to smoke, discretely, when working. They are not going out of their way to enforce a law they view as ridiculous, and for the most part unenforceable.

Inmates on outside work crews pick up cigarette butts along the roadside and smuggle them back into the prisons where other inmates line up to buy the tobacco that has been culled. Brawls have broken out between different groups, and there have been a number of violent assaults as groups argued over who would get how much.

Recently, at the maximum-security prison at Pelican Bay, a convict who had been paroled hours earlier was found sneaking back onto prison grounds holding a pillowcase filled with 50 ounces of tobacco worth nearly $10,000. He had intended to throw it over the institution's fence where his associates were waiting to retrieve it.

"It's becoming a better market than drugs," shared Correctional Officer Hawkes, an anti-gang coordinator at Pelican Bay. Actually, from where this writer sits, it already is.

A guard at Solano State Prison was discovered smuggling tobacco. He admitted earning "several hundreds of dollars each week" in this way. A prison cook at Folsom Prison chose to quit his job after plastic bags filled with tobacco were found in the pockets of his jacket. He admitted to earning approximately $1,000 a week. "It was more than I was being paid by the DOC to cook for the inmates."

Another Folsom prison chef admitted she was being given $300 for every six-ounce can of rolling tobacco she smuggled into the prison. The convicts were having money orders mailed to her address.

"I didn't see any harm in it," she said. "It's not like I was bringing in the heroin and crystal meth these guys get."

"How you going to stop it?" questioned one guard. "We can't keep narcotics out of here, and God knows we try. Personally, I'm not busting an inmate smoking a cigarette in his cell calming his nerves."

"Corrections has always gone overboard, as if to punish the inmates as much as possible," explained one of the doctors at Salinas Valley Prison. "It appears the U.S. states that ban smoking but not chewing tobacco do not have the additional problems California has created for itself."

He is correct. Known for cutting off its nose to spite its face, the DOC has added additional and unnecessary woes to a system already burdened with trouble. As a result of its own actions, inmate violence has risen, which increases costs - along with the dangers that prison guards face every day as different groups vie to control the lucrative black market created by making all tobacco products into contraband.

Source link: http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_art ... 5fd9ad7696
Copyright © Pacific News Service
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

November 20th, 2007, 2:44 am #11

Nicotine and methamphetamine share
discriminative stimulus effects
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Article in Press, Corrected Proof

Michael B. Gatch, a, Elva Flores,a and Michael J. Forster,a
aDepartment of Pharmacology & Neuroscience, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107-2699, USA
Received 11 April 2007; revised 20 August 2007; accepted 21 August 2007. Available online 25 October 2007.
Abstract

Background

Nicotine and methamphetamine are both abused in similar settings, sometimes together. Because there are known interactions between central nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and dopamine receptors, it is of interest to characterize the nature of the interaction of these two compounds in vivo.

Methods

The purpose of this study was to characterize the extent to which these two compounds produce similar discriminative stimulus effects and to identify pharmacological mechanisms for their interaction. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate methamphetamine or nicotine from saline. First, the ability of methamphetamine and nicotine to cross-substitute in rats trained to the other compound was tested. Subsequently, the ability of a dopamine antagonist (haloperidol) and a centrally acting nicotinic antagonist (mecamylamine) to block the discriminative stimulus effects of methamphetamine and nicotine were also tested.

Results

Nicotine fully substituted in methamphetamine-trained rats, but methamphetamine only partially substituted in nicotine-trained rats. In nicotine-trained rats, mecamylamine fully antagonized the discriminative stimulus effects of nicotine, but haloperidol had no effect. The partial substitution of methamphetamine was partially attenuated by haloperidol, but not altered by mecamylamine. In methamphetamine-trained rats, mecamylamine failed to antagonize the discriminative stimulus effects of methamphetamine, but haloperidol fully blocked the methamphetamine cue. Mecamylamine blocked the ability of nicotine to substitute for methamphetamine, but haloperidol had no effect.

Conclusions

These results indicate that nicotine and methamphetamine share discriminative stimulus effects in some subjects and that the two compounds do not act at the same site, but produce their interaction indirectly. These findings suggest that these two compounds might be at least partially interchangeable in human users, and that there are potentially interesting pharmacological reasons for the commonly observed co-administration of nicotine and methamphetamine.

Keywords

: Methamphetamine; Nicotine; Mecamylamine; Haloperidol; Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor; Dopamine receptor; Co-abuse; Drug discrimination; Rat Source Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03768716

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rosy
rosy

October 31st, 2009, 7:25 am #12

Hi
I subscribe to IOL and this came into my inbox yesterday.

'Alcohol and ciggies more harmful than LSD'

London - Alcohol and cigarettes are more dangerous than illegal drugs such as cannabis, LSD and ecstasy, the British government's top drugs advisor said Thursday.

Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London called for a new system of classifying drugs to enable the public to better understand the relative harm of legal and illegal substances.

Alcohol would rank as the fifth most harmful drug after heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and methadone, he said in a briefing paper for the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London.

Tobacco would come ninth on the list and cannabis, LSD and ecstasy "while harmful, are ranked lower at 11, 14 and 18 respectively". The ranking is based on physical harm, dependence and social harm.



Alcohol would rank as the fifth most harmful drug after heroin
"No one is suggesting that drugs are not harmful. The critical question is one of scale and degree," said Nutt, the chairman of the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

He added: "We have to accept young people like to experiment -- with drugs and other potentially harmful activities -- and what we should be doing in all of this is to protect them from harm at this stage of their lives.

"We therefore have to provide more accurate and credible information. If you think that scaring kids will stop them using, you are probably wrong."

Nutt criticised British ministers for their decision to upgrade the classification of cannabis in January from class C -- which includes tranquillisers and some painkillers -- to the higher class B alongside amphetamines.

The decision, which increases the penalties to a maximum 14 years in jail for dealing and five years for possession, was against scientific advice and came just five years after cannabis had been downgraded from class B to C.





Nutt said such policies "distort" and "devalue" research evidence and lead to mixed messages to the public.

While he acknowledged that cannabis was "harmful", he said its use does not lead to major health problems. Users faced a "relatively small risk" of psychotic illness compared to the risks of smokers contracting lung cancer.

Nutt caused controversy earlier this year by saying that taking ecstasy was no more dangerous than horseriding, a claim he repeated in his paper. - AFP


Published on the Web by IOL on 2009-10-30 06:10:26
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