Addiction can be a frightening thing, full of unknown variables that make the situation all the more difficult to face. When going through addiction or even recovering from addiction, there are a myriad of things that can affect your addiction in ways that you don’t quite understand. A person’s sugar intake is one of those things. In order to best prepare yourself, it’s important to understand just how sugar intake can affect addiction, both pre and post recovery.
How Sugar Intake Affects Addiction Pre Recovery
Although it may seem relatively harmless, unregulated sugar intake can be particularly destructive for an addict, before and after recovery. While excessive sugar intake can affect those recovering from addiction a bit more than those who are still under addiction, there are a number of things to look out for. The reason that sugar intake affects an addict both before and after recovery are one in the same, as sugar affects the dopamine neurotransmitters within the brain that causes a person to feel good. This change in the brain is how a person achieves a high when addicted to drugs.
As such, a person that is addicted to any type of substance will likely start centering much of their diet on an increased consumption of sugar. Before recovery, increased sugar intake doesn’t typically have much of an effect on addiction, other than aiding a person to achieve a similar high/crash that they experience when taking whichever substance they are addicted to. However, this can be a dangerous thing. When a person is not taking drugs, a high sugar intake fuels additional side effects, as it essentially keeps their high going at a constant rate. Such rampant abuse of an addictive substance can make it all the more difficult to cease the drug that’s causing the addiction in the first place. It will also bring about stronger withdrawal symptoms.
How Sugar Intake Affects Addiction Post Recovery
During post recovery is when sugar intake can affect addiction the most. As sugar affects the same areas of the brain, a person will start using sugar more often within their foods and everything they consume. Withdrawal is an exceedingly difficult process to go through for anyone, which is why recovering addicts will often seek substitutes for the drug they were originally on. This is both a good and a bad thing. For instance, consuming sugar on a regular basis does help to keep a person from relapsing, but it also has a variety of negative effects. It doesn’t provide as strong of a high as the actual drugs, but it does give a similar rise and crash that actual addictive substances give, which keeps an addict from fully recovering like they are supposed to.
In moderation, sugar can be helpful for a recovered drug addict, but it’s difficult to keep sugar intake levels low enough to stave off the sugar cravings that come with it. The crash a person suffers from consuming too much sugar can make that person feel depressed and craving for the substance, which can eventually cause a person to relapse. Too much sugar intake can also lead to withdrawal symptoms similar to what a person goes through when recovering from their addiction, though less severe. It’s important that a person keeps a normal and healthy diet, which will not only keep a recovered addict from craving sugar, but will also help to maintain a healthy body.
If you find that you or someone you love is consuming too much sugar, and it’s not helping addiction recovery, make sure to get the help you need today.