Blog

How Does Sugar Cause Drug Addicts To Relapse In Early Recovery


When it comes down to maintaining a healthy sober lifestyle,  people in early recovery should consider cutting back on sugar. In recent studies, researchers have found that excessive amounts of sugar consumption can cause drug addicts to relapse. Now, you’re probably wondering “How?” Sugar is one of the top commodities that fuel the daily activities of most  American’s. But, if you take a closer look at the side effects of sugar, you will realize that sugar is more than a sweet tasting soluble carbohydrate — both illicit drugs and sugar share semi-similar side-effects. For example, a recent study by the Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews found that  “intermittent access to sugar can lead to behavioral and neurochemical changes that resemble the effects of a substance of abuse”  In essence, both drugs and sugar have similar effects on the brain.  With this in mind, we believe it’s essential for every newly sober person in early recovery to be aware of the relationship between sugar and drug relapse.

How Does Sugar Cause Drug Addicts To Relapse

Sugars cause drug addicts to relapse because it induces the brain to experience cravings. In the process, some people in early recovery may confuse their sugar craving with drug addiction cravings. While this only explanation only touches the surface, sugar cravings are much more complicated.  According to Web MD, “ Carbohydrates stimulate the releases of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin.”  Web MD also states that “ The  taste of sugar also releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural high.” This is important because illicit drugs have the same effect on the human brain. Which means, newly sober people in early recovery should pay attention to their daily sugar intake.

Aside from the effect that sugar has on your brain, carbohydrates can also make your body dependent on sugar. In most cases, this normally happens whenever your body needs to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells for energy. In the process, your blood sugar levels may drop. As a result, you may experience fatigue. Once this happens,  most begin to crave more sugar. However, without being aware of their dependence on sugar, their cravings may be misinterpreted as drug addiction cravings.

How Much Sugar Should I Consume

Before you start thinking about how much sugar you should consume, you should take a moment to think about the distinction between added sugars and natural sugars.

  • Added sugars: commonly found in foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. Therefore, you can find added sugar in soft drinks, sports drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, pies, and
  • Natural Sugars: sugars that are naturally found in foods such as fruit and milk

Just as you might imagine, consuming natural sugars are a great way for people in early recovery to maintain a healthy sober life.  According to the American Heart Association, men should consume 150 calories of sugar per day. Therefore men consume 36.5 grams of sugar or 9 teaspoons.  The AMHA also states that women should consume 100 calories of sugar per day. Ultimately, exercising a balanced diet can help you reduce the chance of relapsing.  Some of the other benefits of maintaining a healthy diet include:

  • Replenished energy
  • Enhanced focus and awareness
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Reduced chance of being diagnosed with diabetes
  • Prevents heart attacks and strokes
  • Stronger bones and teeth
  • Positive moods

All in all, the benefits of consuming an adequate amount of natural sugars are great for everyone.

What Should I Do To Maintain A Healthy Sober Life

Now that you know that sugar cravings are closely associated with drug and alcohol cravings, you can start to make the switch to a healthy sober lifestyle. In the process, you can begin to incorporate more rich fiber fruits, vegetables, and proteins into your diet At the same time; you can eliminate sugar filled soft-drinks from your diet.  If your not sure which foods have the best natural sugar, take a look below,

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Kiwis
  • Grapefruit
  • Avocado
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Vegetables
  • Milk

While there are plenty of great all natural food sources with natural sugars, these are just a few of foods with natural sugars that we recommend. We’re confident that these foods can help you eliminate relapse triggers, and maintain the healthy sober lifestyle that you want to achieve.

Do You Live In Food Dessert? Need A Sober Living Community That Offers Healthy Food?

In short, if you’re looking for a sober living community that offers all natural organic foods to help you stay sober and healthy, you should consider moving to Gatehouse Sober Community. We provide professional nutrition advice to help recovering drug addicts and alcoholics remain sober. We also offer nutritional information to help recovering drug and alcoholics restore their body to their natural state. In case you didn’t know, drug addiction and alcohol abuse can disrupt a person’s eating habits. Once this happens, drug addicts and alcoholics miss out on all of the vitamins that their body needs. Therefore, we want to help you get back to being the best you.  Sound interesting? If so, contact Gatehouse Sober Community at (855) 448-3588

(855) 448-3638