There is a curious mental phenomena, a “peculiar mental twist” as The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous puts it, when it comes to alcoholism. It is nearly impossible for an alcoholic, a true alcoholic, to have just one drink. Due to the physical allergy nature of alcoholism, when an alcoholic takes that first drink, their body (and their mind) responds through craving. Not only does the body and mind crave alcohol, it obsesses. The reason alcoholism is so curious is because there are clearly millions of people who can stop drinking when they want to. If they want to have one drink, they can have just one drink. If they happen to have more than just one drink, they are capable of stopping themselves at some point, even if it gets bad. An alcoholic is unable to control their drinking. In fact, in The Big Book, they define an alcoholic by asking them realize the delusion that they can drink like other people “has to be smashed”.
Science has been yearning to discover what it is that differentiates the alcoholic brain from the non-alcoholic brain. Some blame genetics and predisposition while others blame peer pressure and mental illness. Either way, alcoholism simply happens to some and doesn’t happen to others. The same seems to be true with how the brain and body responds to sugar. Sugar and addiction are getting coupled up. Numerous studies are indicating that the brain responds to sugar in a very similar manner to addictive substances like drugs and alcohol.
One scientist in particular things addiction to sugar has more to do with biochemistry than will. Similarly, the industry as a whole has agreed that addiction is a disease of the body and mind, a public health crisis of mental illness, more than it is a matter of will. Monica Dus, reports NPR, “believes a diet in high sugar actually changes the brain, so it no longer does a good job of knowing how many calories the body is taking in.” Overtime, the brain makes consistent incremental changes which leads to the inability to eat just one cupcake or piece of candy.
Addiction and alcoholism are the result of incremental brain changes in which the brain is no longer able to produce it’s own dopamine or source of pleasure. Additionally, other systems in the brain change like areas where control or limitation is regulated.
Treating sugar like a substance which is harmful to the brain is more than dietary. For people in recovery it is important to support the brain from repeating addictive behaviors. Enlightened Solutions offers nutritional and dietary support including a sugar free diet and weekly lessons on cooking. A certified dual diagnosis treatment center, Enlightened provides recovery for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring mental health disorders. Call us today for more information, 833-801-5483.