What is it
Smoking nicotine is a form of substance addiction which has a prevalence of about 13% for males and females aged 18 and above in Australia, of those who smoke daily. Addiction is a disease that involves altered chemicals in the brain and increased urge to repetitively use a substance or engage in unhealthy behaviour.
What does it include
Smoking is associated with various long-term health complications including cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases. In the short-term, smoking can cause dental problems, reduced fertility, and increased risk of osteoporosis. Smoking is also known to be higher among those with mental health issues including psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Additionally, smoking has been found to cause stress rather than relieve it. Individuals suffering from nicotine addiction often require assistance in managing and achieving cessation due to the changes in brain structure that occur when an individual repetitively uses this substance. Relapse is also prevalent in those individuals who have ceased using a substance, which can apply to nicotine.
How can a psychologist help
A psychologist can assist you in understanding the cycle of addiction, utilising a biopsychosocial approach. Your psychologist will also collaboratively assist you in achieving your smoking cessation goal, through setting smaller goals towards the long-term goal, and addressing any barriers to achieving this goal. Your psychologist may use various evidence-based therapies to assist you with achieving your treatment goals including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.
Australian Government (2012). Quit Now. Damaging your body, http://www.quitnow.gov.au/internet/quitnow/publishing.nsf/Content/damaging-your-body
Australian Government (2012). Quit Now. Mental illness and quitting, http://www.quitnow.gov.au/internet/quitnow/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-health-and-quitting
Greenhalgh, EM, Bayly, M, & Winstanley, MH. 1.3 Prevalence of smoking—adults. In Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors]. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2015.
If you require additional information, please call our office on 07 3256 6320. Our mental health focused reception staff will be only too happy to assist you with your enquiry about our service and can suggest the most suitable Psychologist for your concern.