Site Loader
Rock Street, San Francisco

Who among most people nowadays has never smoked? May it be trying
hookah at a family gathering, or puffing on a cigarette behind the
school to rebel against authority? Smoking tobacco has been around since
the dawn of man, specifically starting with the Native Americans who
smoked a strain that caused them to hallucinate- that would explain the
animal Gods they would “perceive” in their campfires. Tobacco is smoked
for it’s main psychoactive drug, the infamous nicotine. A stimulant and
a depressant, as any smoker can confirm, it is a surprisingly addictive
drug, some affirm more than heroin- the most popular addictive
substance to be abused usually by depressed people. Nicotine
delivery devices come in many forms, cigarettes were the most mainstream
ones. Recently however, E-cigarettes and vaping devices are becoming
more and more popular. Marketed at children indirectly, by mixing
tasteful flavors like fruit mixes, sweet cakes etc.… A young generation
is becoming more and more addicted to nicotine. Pipes, cigars, hookahs
and even chewing tobacco all rely on the same process, administrating
nicotine to the bloodstream, only difference is their modus operandi.
Society helps into encouraging younger people to smoke as well, but our
main topic is nicotine’s effects on the mentally ill and why the latter
are more prone to getting addicted to it than “normal” people.
The aspect of drawing on a cigarette, the oral fixation it gives, simply
looking the smoke gives smokers the relaxing “high” they always chase.
The problem I am reporting is the relation between smoking and mental
diseases. Indeed, nicotine in all its forms seems to regulate cognitive
and sensorial behaviors in people with schizophrenia. The properties of
nicotine are still in study since it is both a stimulant and depressant.
That has been a point of interest for scientists for as long as tobacco
was consumed. Cigarettes are brilliantly engineered to deliver a “hit”
in a matter of seconds after consumption. That rush stimulates the
production of epinephrine which increases blood pressure, glucose levels
and heart rate. So, that is similar to a cup of coffee -if that were
nicotine by itself in the cigarette! Moreover, the release of dopamine
inhibited by the inhalation is reported to be such as taking heroin or
cocaine; the same brain scans are seen and could explain the pleasure
felt by smokers. The nervous system grows so accustomed that one
to two cigarettes barely feel like having took two puffs. That is the
tolerance being built up. Quitting has consequently been described as
the hardest substance to cease after heroin. May it be influenced by a
smoking friendly entourage, or simply advertisements cleverly placed
smoking has always been an epidemic. But what about the mentally ill?
Especially schizophrenics… Numbers show that its sufferers smoke up to
three times more than the populace. Nicotine levels are even higher
since their bodies extract more of the addictive drug. Indeed, its
receptors are intricate to cognitive functions, pain relief and reward
systems. Evidently, schizophrenics, who have poorer receptors in the
hippocampus cortex absorb and interact heavily with nicotine. Tests have
shown that the more nicotine they intake, the more “normal” they
perceive their surroundings; thus, less distortion. Patients see it as a
form of “self-medication”, and what first drives them to start is the
idea that smoking relieves stress and anxiety. The above does
not concern schizophrenic patients only, since many bipolar-mood
disorder, studies have proven that rates amongst those affected are
higher as well. Those who are highly dependent on tobacco use show
higher mood scores; a scale that shows how much they are likely to go
into manic-depression. Thus, bipolar people use smoking as a self-help
tool. They exhibit higher susceptibility to smoking. That would explain
why many psychiatric wards are opting to allow smoking in their clinics,
especially as a compliance tool for tests and taking medications
provided. It is well-known that many mentally ill patients, paranoid in
particular, conceal the medication given to them and thus do not heal.
That is why a recent study in Italy has shown that e-cigarettes, that
deliver the needed nicotine without the accompanying tar and chemicals
can reduce health effects by 50%. And in severe cases, healing mentally
outweighs a little higher blood pressure or cardiovascular issues.
Another issue is the addictive and dependent personality that mentally
ill patients are prone to display. A society that taboos smoking is
indirectly encouraging bipolar to smoke even more, as a symbol of
defiance. It is a symptom of mania, doing reckless behaviors.
So, we can conclude that nicotine itself, as research showed, is simply
addictive and not cancerous. The cigarettes are the ones harmful.
E-cigarettes are the way of the future, to minimize the risks
involved. Mental illness is a serious epidemic and if an addiction to a
substance can help cease suicide, psychosis and nervous breakdowns, why
not encourage it?

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Jeremy!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out