A food craving is the result of many things and is a complex interaction between a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. People who struggle with alcohol addiction, for instance, crave sweets and sugar in recovery. Learn more about why people in recovery struggle with food cravings and how to cope.
Sometimes when a person is off of one drug, another one takes its place. Whether it is nicotine or sugar, an individual may switch addictions for substances or alcohol to food. A sugar addiction can be especially detrimental to an individual’s health who is already struggling with physical ailments from alcohol addiction. Smoking is also an addiction which may negatively impact a person’s health long term.
Sugar addiction is a very real challenge for people in recovery. People with alcoholism can easily transfer addiction to food when craving carbs and sugars, go on a diet then go back to the food when sugar starts creating a high. The chemicals released while eating sugar are similar to those released when using narcotics. PET and CAT scans of people with food addiction look nearly identical to those of people using alcohol or drugs and sugar can create a physical addiction (craving) for more sugar. Biochemically, food addiction is just like any other addiction.
Alcoholism is another form of sugar and grain, which is being taken in liquid form as opposed to a solid one. Individuals who drank and are sober may struggle with a desire to take in some liquid form that brings back feelings of drinking such as sugary drinks, sodas, energy drinks or others which elevate caffeine levels in a person’s body to sometimes dangerous levels. Some issues which may arise from this sugary addiction include:
- Some forms of cancer
- High blood pressure
- Degeneration of bones and joints
What is Healthy
A major reason people do not equate a relationship to sugar as unhealthy is that most of the culture and medical community do not see food as addictive in the same way as drugs and alcohol. Most of the food sold is contaminated with foods that are highly addictive, which is why people become sugar addicts at a younger age than becoming addicted to drugs or other substances. Sugar addiction may even run in families including soda, candy, sugary cereals and other sweets. Genetics can play a huge role in the way a person metabolizes sugar or switches addictions.
People in recovery may seek ways to medicate difficult emotions while maintaining sobriety. Over exercising, overeating and over-doing anything can result in addiction transfer or switching to something else that, while possibly healthy in small doses, now results in a lower quality of life than desired. It helps to speak with doctors and therapists about a healthy diet in recovery along with seeking support from friends in recovery and loved ones.
Sustain Recovery has a unique approach to adolescent care. Gender Separate Extended Care treatment programs for clients exist to support individuals through the process of recovery. Call us to find out how to get started.