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Addicted to tobacco. How to stop this habit?

my husband always chews pan AAAAAAA and keeps AAAAAAA in this lower gums , I have tried many times to stop this and went in vain , can you please suggest me how to stop this habit without telling him?
Asked On : Fri, 23 Mar 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  84
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hi Sneha,

Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thanks for your question...

I am sorry to hear that you have been trying in vain to stop your husband's tobacco chewing habit.

Firstly, let me be put it plainly that it is very difficult to stop any habit or addiction without the motivation and co-operation of the person. Also, most people who abuse tobacco or any other substance have already been told enough number of times by their relatives and friends to stop or cut down the habit. But remember, the very definition of 'addiction' implies that the person has lost control over the substance and is unable to stop or control its use, despite knowing that it can cause him / her harmful consequences.

Now, at the same time, this does not mean that there is no way out. There are numerous people who have sought help and have been able to quit / control such habits. One of the key factors in success is to get the person motivated. Merely telling the person repeatedly to stop usually does little good.

A good therapist first establishes a good rapport with the person and wins his confidence. Then in a gentle and professional manner, he is made to understand his situation and realize that it is time for change. Then his motivation is gradually enhanced and he is taught skills how to prevent relapses and adjust / modify his lifestyle without the substance. This process is called Motivational Enhancement and if done professionally by a therapist, can give good and lasting results.

In addition, there are medication which can help - medication which can prevent any withdrawal symptoms when he stops taking the substance and medication which can even help him to gradually reduce its use and then stop... e.g Nicotine Replacement Therapies like Nicotine chewing gums patches, etc. (Note: Nicotine is the chemical substance in tobacco responsible for the addiction potential) There are also medication which can help reduce the 'craving' i.e. the urge or desire to keep taking the substance.

I would suggest that you convince him to see a psychiatrist, who would inturn be able to handle him in a professional manner and motivate him to quit.

All the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Fri, 25 May 2012
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