Is quitting heroin more difficult that quitting smoking?
The answer is it depends. When we look at nicotine replacement therapy, the figures aren’t so good. Success rates of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone are actually quite dismal: just about 15 percent, which is just slightly above the placebo level. Keep in mind I don’t in any way discourage NRT; I discuss the role NRT can have in the smoking cessation process in a later chapter. As such, you could make the case it’s easier to get over heroin than nicotine. Looks kind of depressing, right? I would argue, however, that it’s not that nicotine is more addictive but rather, a different type of addiction. Imagine a person (or yourself) going through nicotine withdrawal. You’ve just gone cold turkey and now it’s been a few days (or perhaps, hours) since your last cigarette. What would you feel? Irritable? Agitated? Anxious? Now, think about a person going through withdrawal from either heroin, or cocaine, or an alcoholic who abruptly quit drinking. What are their symptoms? Well, typica