Information About Nasal Spray Addiction
June 6th, 2010 by Patrick

Included in the long list of possible addictions is a nasal spray addiction. When you get a cold or suffer from allergies, it is easy to purchase one of the over-the-counter nasal sprays that promise to give you instant relief from congestion. These sprays really work. They usually last for at least 12 hours. Unfortunately, when the allergies are disappearing and the cold is gone, you will still use the nasal spray because you think that you still need it. The instructions on the sprays say that you shouldn’t use it for more than 3 days. The problem is that you may still be suffering from total congestion for more than 3 days. So, you will still continue to use the spray. It all seems very harmless. However, the more you use the nasal spray, the less chance your congestion will clear up on its own. This is when the addiction comes into play. Some people will continue to use the spray for weeks and even months before they decide that they should stop.

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 photo credit: B Rosen

If you stop using the spray, eventually the nasal passages will go back to normal, and you won’t depend on the spray anymore. If you really give your willpower a chance, you will start to ignore minor congestion and let it go away by itself or by taking an over-the-counter decongestant or a prescription from your doctor. Many times the congestion may actually get worse after stopping the use of the nasal spray. This is called the rebound effect.

Becoming addicted to nasal spray is a very innocent substance abuse. However, it is still an abuse. No one uses nasal sprays for the purpose of getting high or increasing energy. They use it to simply clear the nose. It’s uncomfortable to be so stuffed up that you can’t breathe. If you feel that you will only depend on the spray for just a few days, it is a wonderful product for quick relief. But there are other ways to help clear the congestion without becoming dependent on the nasal spray.

One way to break away from this addiction is to try some of those paper strips that can adhere to the bridge of your nose. This involves no drugs, no side effects, no fuss and no mess. Many people seem to be satisfied with the results of these strips. If this method is not good enough, you can try using a saline nasal spray. These are not habit-forming and can be very effective. If you have a humidifier, use it in the bedroom while you sleep. Nasal congestion seems to be worse at night when you are in a horizontal position. Dry air will only worsen the congestion. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can always boil water and breathe in the steam. Since you’re boiling the water anyway, you might as well make a cup of decaffeinated tea or soup. Just by drinking these beverages you can still get the steam effect to help clear the nasal passages.

Another simple solution is to use a warm washcloth and apply it around the nose. The heat and moisture can loosen the mucus that causes the congestion. You can also use a vapor rub on your chest. By breathing in these vapors you will feel some relief all the way up through the nasal passages.

Before trying any of these other solutions, you need to throw away the nasal sprays that you may still have hidden in your home. By not having these sprays around you are forced to try one or more of the other ways to control your congestion without becoming addicted again.

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