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  #1  
Old 12-22-12, 10:51 AM
Lina00 Lina00 is offline
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How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

I'm 17 years old. I have ADHD and it makes my life really difficult. I have academic problems, and problems with keeping friends because of my impulsiveness. It's really difficult to live with ADHD even though I believe I have a milder form of the disorder. Here in my country ritalin and other stimulants are not used for ADHD. Nothing really is used to treat ADHD in my country. No doctors prescrible anything for ADHD. So I don't have any treatment available but I heard that nicotine helps ADHD. I don't plan to start smoking but I want to try nicotine lozenges without smoking. I know that I might become addicted but I'd rather be addicted to nicotine (without smoking) than live with my ADHD symptoms. Now I want to know how much will nicotine lozenges help my symptoms before I start taking them. Is it really worth it? Is it really hard to stop once you start taking them? Has anyone had any experience with nicotine? Does it help with emotional impulsiveness?
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Old 12-22-12, 11:33 AM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

I smoked for 20+ years. When I quit smoking my symptoms became much more pronounced. In fact it was only after quitting smoking that I was diagnosed.

So based on this, I might think that nicotine did help....BUT...was it the nicotine? or the action of smoking, bringing the cigarette to my mouth to take a drag, etc etc etc.

I can't say. Perhaps it was a combination of both. What i can say is that I have read several people who have had a similar experience as myself and I also read one thread where they were testing nicotine patches as a treatment...

Myself, while I am suddenly having a lot of troubles that I didn't have before, I would never go back to smoking because of that. I would suggest exhausting every possible avenue before trying any nicotine.
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Old 12-22-12, 01:11 PM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

There was a study or two that tested the effect of nicotine patches on people with ADHDers and found some symptoms relief but not enough research has been done to confirm this, I think.

I smoke and when I started it seemed to help a bit. More than anything it calms me down. These days though I feel as if it tires me out more than anything so it's slightly counter productive. Now I'm hooked though and struggling to quit though it doesn't make me feel better.

Like shin says, I think the whole procedure of going outside, catching some fresh air and lighting up helps in the sense that it gives you a breakand some time to refocus your thoughts. Also the opportunity of pacing up and down while I'm smoking seems to help me. Not with concentration but I often get my best ideas while having a smoke.

I've tried nicotine gum but didn't find it helped with any symptoms at all but then it's probably different for everyone.

All in all, I'd say if you don't smoke, it's probably not worth starting (neither cigarettes nor nicotine replacement tools like lozenges). The benefit isn't strong and it's not conclusively proved unlike the ill effects on your health.

I can imagine that just going out for a walk, catching some fresh air might actually be more helpful. If you are looking for alternative to stimulants, you could try omega 3 supplements (like fish oil), which some studies have shown might also be beneficial.
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Old 12-25-12, 03:29 AM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

For me, I'm going the natural way and I smoke, its the last hurdle to overcome before I can start jogging, for now, I just go for very fast 1/12-2 hrs walks ever few days.

Smoking for me is very unproductive, I tend to go out for a smoke then forget to get back to what I was doing before I had that smoke.

Imagine the damage you do to your eye's,lungs,blood pressure etc
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Old 12-25-12, 05:30 PM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

For some people, nicotine helps. I've tried the lozenges and the patch. I don't know how much it helped with my impulsiveness, but it did make me feel more alert. I haven't used the lozenges in quite a while, and I wasn't necessarily trying to stop. I just went back to using adderall more often, and the nicotine far less.

If you don't have access to prescribed stimulants, it may be worth a try. I don't think the nicotine in lozenge, patch, or gum form is as addictive as smoking, although I wouldn't rule out the possibility.

I think cigarettes are often treated with other chemicals to make them more addictive than they would be otherwise. In addition, some long term smokers feel addicted to the ritual of smoking. So for those two reason, I think addiction would be less likely if you chose to try the lozenge.
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Old 12-25-12, 07:55 PM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

no i smoked and dipped and it never helped me. please if you dont use nicotine now dont start or maybe a few times like under 10 but once you become addicted you will NEVER quit thinking about it. i think about cigs all the time and i know someone who has quit for like 5 years was always asking me for a cig and i was like no you done quit stay quit!
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Old 12-25-12, 09:11 PM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

I smoke since I was 14 , and don't think it helps , maybe in the beginning but after that the addiction is so much strong that after 20 minutes without a cigarette the symptoms get much worse.

I don't know if it helps but I have used many drugs in my life , luckily I was able to get off of most of them except the nicotine, so helping or not the problems out-weight the benefit by far! , it's not like "you may get addicted" like with alcohol or marijuana , it is a you will get addicted, not only that but you will be addicted to a drug that will harm you entire body , I am a really active person and even being active many sedentary people has a better resistance than I do.

Cigarettes will help you starting conversations , getting smoker girls and so on but will take so much much more from you, people tend to think that you will be risking to get a cancer when old from smoking which is true , but you also will be having , not risking, but having many problems even after a few months smoking that will degrade you quality of life , You can't imagine the terror that is to take a lung x-ray when you smoke or how many times you take an exam and the doctor asks "You are a smoker right?" , do you understand that it causes so much damage that what would be considered a illness in someone in you is just the "common state"?

Once I quitted smoking for 2 years and after the 2 years I would still dream about smoking.

As a man who once was in a state where he woke up drink a double-shot of vodka straight from the bottle , lights a cigarette and do a big line of coke before getting out of bed to buy some weed, I can tell you nicotine is one of the most addictives substances in world.
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Last edited by SweetCode; 12-25-12 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 12-26-12, 11:56 AM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lina00 View Post
Here in my country ritalin and other stimulants are not used for ADHD. Nothing really is used to treat ADHD in my country. No doctors prescrible anything for ADHD.
Nicotine aside for a moment. Your profile says you're from the US.? Ritalin and other stimulants ARE used for ADHD in the US. Where did you hear this? Or does "US" not stand for "United States," as it typically does?

Having spent a quarter century addicted to nicotine, I cannot support it's usage for self medication.

I see also, this appears to be your first visit here. Welcome. Truly, this site and the people who hang out here are among your best resources for learning to live a full life with ADHD. The folks here understand all the wild and woolly things that having this condition bring, and can give you a world of affirmation and support.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:23 PM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

From my understanding...

Nicotine is a stimulant and increases dopamine which might go to support why some people are finding it helps. As with meds, right medication helps the right person and it won't be the same for everyone.

The real issue is that when you use, and I smoke no intent of giving it up in the near future, that it messes you up after.

Have a cigarette or use nicotine patch/pill/gum...
Dopamine increases (which the ADD/ADHD brain needs)
Effects wear off
You're worse than when you started as Dopamine drops off.

It's also not very long lasting so you need it more often, not to mention that nicotine is extremely addictive.

So, as far as I know... nicotine+ADD/ADHD.. good short term, really bad long term
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Old 12-26-12, 10:33 PM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

I Don't understand why is this topic still up, if it was about a minor asking about the effects of marijuana on ADHD this topic would already be closed.

But here are we talking in a topic started by a minor at his first post (so it was moderated) about a drug addictive almost as much as cocaine (more than one study as proof) , that is illegal for OP to use in this age.

Kid , heroin is great as a cough medicine but you wouldn't use it because of the damage right? so, why are you even considering nicotine?

It makes me so f***king angry when people talk about nicotine as a almost harmless substance, I don't care what the kid ends up doing but it is not fair to lie.

Nicotine only helps stupid ***** that already started in this digusting , life-treating habit , that will make you die ugly , early and weak, you have way too many options to consider before considering this.

What country do you live in? I don't know any country (neither do erowid) that ritalin isn't approved and even if no stimulants are allowed they certainly have bupropion or another antidepressant, you can also try omega3, caffeine , therapy , high intensity exercises , food, there are tons of other options that you can try before becoming addicted for life to a substance that is not even really effective.
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Old 08-24-13, 01:40 AM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Shin_ View Post
I smoked for 20+ years. When I quit smoking my symptoms became much more pronounced. In fact it was only after quitting smoking that I was diagnosed.

So based on this, I might think that nicotine did help....BUT...was it the nicotine? or the action of smoking, bringing the cigarette to my mouth to take a drag, etc etc etc.

I can't say. Perhaps it was a combination of both. What i can say is that I have read several people who have had a similar experience as myself and I also read one thread where they were testing nicotine patches as a treatment...

Myself, while I am suddenly having a lot of troubles that I didn't have before, I would never go back to smoking because of that. I would suggest exhausting every possible avenue before trying any nicotine.
I agree,its very hard to quit. I did it 15 years ago. I realize now that I replaced it with large quantities of caffeine. I tried it a couple days ago as an experiment though. I had a venti mocha with 3 shots espresso,and smoked a cigarette in addition to my morning dose of adderall. The combined synergistic effect was amazing. My level of focus and clarity was beyond what Id ever experienced. It was so amazing it scared the hell out of me and i tossed the pack of cigarettes. I spent a long time kicking that habit and I don't want it back.
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Old 08-24-13, 02:51 AM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

Well, it definitely has an effect on focus.

Given my heavy use as self medication, I would advise not to go that route.

Very poinient question tho. I mean, much of the other stuff creates dependance or has downsides. So, it is a viable consideration.

Cost is another biggie. In my country, NRT ( Nicotine Replacement Therapies ) are very expensive...

There are studies underway in this area, so no doubt will will be getting more useful data and or recommendations from the pro's over the coming year/s.

I suggest making some deeper inquiries with the relevant advocacy / government groups or prominent health care professionals in your area. You might also post your location and there is a fair change a forum member will have some more specific places where you can get advice.
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Old 08-24-13, 03:09 AM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

I can say I self medicated with smoking well before I thought I had ADD. It did/does help, but it's so not worth it for so many reasons. Cigs have helped me do some things in the past, but it's benefits--ignorning the costs--pale in comparison to actual treatment. For anyone who doesn't smoke--don't start. Any benefit that comes remotely close to proper treatment was only gotten by ridiculous chain smoking. I've wanted to kick it--again--for a while now. What might actually get me to do it this time is the costs. I won't be able to smoke and buy adderall for much longer. I find this kinda funny since I'm smoking as I type this, but I'd much rather have adderall.
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Old 08-24-13, 04:34 AM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

i wish i could find these studies i read about 6 months ago to cite, but what I did read if you will take my word for it is that there were some clinical studies being done on the effects of nictotine on people with various neurological problems (ex: parkininsons) and one of those stud groups I read mentioned people with adhd. My understanding was the possibility of some kind of nictotine pill was on the table. It does help my adhd and but I wish I wasnt addicted to it.
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Old 08-24-13, 09:56 AM
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Re: How helpful is nicotine for ADHD?

It often seemed to me that the motivation to finish a task - if hooked onto the addiction to cigarettes - ie can only have a cigarette when this job is finished
- provided the necessary motivation to complete a dull task.

Overall though and even if it worked - this is a very bad basis for forcing oneself into completion of some painful endeavour.
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