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Is quitting heroin more difficult that quitting smoking?

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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, ... more
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