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Misusing Drugs and Food: Combating Not-So-New Addictions

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It is difficult to pass up food that we crave. Fighting a food addiction may be more grueling, especially if it is as strong as a drug addiction. Some rehabilitation facilities, such as the New York Center for Living, are expanding from eliminating just drug addictions to preventing “transfer” addictions as well, particularly to unhealthy. Although easier said than done, prevention is necessary for faster recovery.

According to the New York Times, the New York Center for Living has hired chefs that are also registered nutritionists. They plan to avoid providing foods with high sugar, fat and salt contents and instead, provide foods that are both nutritious and appetizing, which is vital to the patients’ health. To the facility, it is important to cut off patients’ cravings for drugs, but also for other addictive substances, even if the addiction seems harmless.

By cutting off unhealthy food, patients can cut their risk of relapse. Weight gain could lead to low self-esteem, leading patients to take comfort in using drugs or eating more food. Patients who are craving drugs may resort to food for comfort as well. This cycle takes a big toll on patients mentally and physically, stalling their progress.

A widely known study from Connecticut College led to the conclusion that high sugar foods, such as Oreos, stimulate the “pleasure center” of lab rats’ brains just as much as cocaine or morphine do. If both drugs and delectable foods bring similar satisfaction, it is very likely that they can be substituted for each other. Therefore, it is important to consider all aspects and not just focus on one part. Food addictions can be just as strong as drug addictions, so consume unhealthy foods sparingly.

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