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How to quit habit of chewing gutkha?

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I'm chewing gutkha. I'm unable to get out out of the dirty habit. I sincerely wanted to quit. Would any medicinal assistance help. Please advice. My e-mail id is YYYY@YYYY
Posted Wed, 13 Feb 2013 in Drug Abuse
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 1 hour later
Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thanks for your query.

Firstly, I appreciate you for your strong motivation to quit your habit of chewing Gutkha and for seeking help for the same. You have indeed made the right decision.

Gutkha is nothing but a smokeless form of tobacco and contains the highly addictive chemical called Nicotine. Now, there are effective treatment options to tackle this addiction. A combination of medication and counselling has been found to give the best results.

Medication can be of two types. One is called Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Here, nicotine gums or lozenges or nasal sprays or skin patches are used to substitute the nicotine for a temporary period. The reason is, if tobacco (Gutkha) is stopped suddenly, it can produce certain withdrawal symptoms. So, to avoid such withdrawal symptoms, nicotine replacement is given at a lower dose, which is subsequently gradually reduced over many days and stopped. So, in this way, the person does not suffer from any unpleasant withdrawal effects and also doesn't get the impulse to chew Gutkha.

The second form of medication is to reduce the psychological addiction, i.e. to control the mind's craving or desires to consume the substance. There are certain medication like Bupropion, Varenicline, etc. which can be specifically effective against controlling these psychological impulses to take tobacco. The type and dose of medication can be decided only after a detailed and personal psychological assessment.

Finally, in addition to the medication, counselling is also very important. Medication will not be effective if the person doesn't stay motivated. So, there are conselling therapies like Motivational Enhancement Therapy, which will boost a person's motivation and help him stick to his decision of quitting.

I would advise you to consult a psychiatrist for a detailed evaluation and for further treatment. If you stay motivated and take regular treatment, then you will surely be able to overcome this problem.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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