In many ways, sugar may be considered “America’s favorite legal drug.” After all, you are probably helping yourself to a handsome portion of it right now in cereal, breakfast pastries, or a slice of cake you have decided to bring home from work. Of course, we are not referring to natural sugars (like the ones found in healthy fruits and veggies), but, instead, we are discussing the refined, processed sugar that can legitimately cause tremendous harm. Although popular opinions might make us reconsider our perceptions of this chemical, the fact of the matter is that sugar does meet the qualifications of a drug that has a potential for abuse and dependency. People who use it for a long period of time even suffer from drug withdrawal. Let’s take a closer look at the impact of this process on the human body.
Is Sugar a Drug?
Obviously, we should return to this question before we begin. Is sugar a legitimate drug? Although the concept of it being an “addictive substance” is still a matter of debate among doctors, many medical professionals have proven that refined sugar can induce biochemical changes that can result in withdrawal. After a person eats sugar, a flood of endorphins (the body’s naturally occurring opioids) is released through the brain, creating a sensation of pleasure. Likewise, sugar triggers the release of dopamine in the same manner as many addictive drugs.
Process of Withdrawal
In the same manner that our ancestors craved fermented fruit (resulting in our attachment to alcohol), early man also craved foods with high sugar content to build up body fat for long winters. As a result, the brain evolved to recognize sugar as a pleasing material and started to release “feel-good” neurotransmitters like dopamine. In a shocking twist, illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine just happen to produce the same effect. Ultimately, all three of these drugs also happen to trigger unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. However, in the case of sugar, the effects are not life-threatening:
- Severe cravings for sugar (and sweet foods, in general)
- Severe cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods
- Mood changes
- Irritability and mild depression
Seeking Treatment for Drug Abuse and Addiction
Although sugar might not be the most terrifying of drugs, you must understand that you should always keep tabs on addictive behavior. If you form a chemical attachment to sugar, you may want to consider if you can potentially develop a more severe form of drug addiction. If you, a friend, or a loved one is suffering from marijuana use disorder or a form of dependency, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the pain of withdrawal and detox and help you complete a successful and fulfilling rehabilitation. While the road to recovery might not be an easy path, we promise to help you every step of the way.
Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe. If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can kick your marijuana use to the curb.