Sober living

Why Do People With Alcohol Use Disorders Crave Sugar?

You face many hurdles along the way to a happier and more fulfilling life. Finding coping mechanisms that prevent you from going from one compulsive behavior to another is the key to sobriety and avoiding behaviors that threaten your overall health. Those struggling with alcohol dependence tend to crave sugar because both have a similar effect on the brain. Both substances cause dopamine release and feelings of happiness and pleasure. Some studies have even found a genetic link between people addicted to sugar and those who abuse alcohol. A person in recovery is susceptible to replacing their use of alcohol with sugar to receive the same “high” experience.

Reducing sugar intake can be beneficial for individuals in recovery from alcoholism. Consuming less sugar can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the likelihood of experiencing intense why do alcoholics crave sugar cravings that can lead to relapse. In addition, consuming a balanced diet that is rich in essential nutrients can help support overall physical and mental health during recovery.

What are the risks of consuming too much sugar?

In fact, according to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, sugar affects many of the same neural pathways in the brain as alcohol does. Sugar is similar to alcohol in the sense that it can become addictive if consumed too often. Whenever you would drink, the alcohol would release a rush of dopamine that would make you feel good. When struggling with hypoglycemia, you’re left with symptoms like irritability, aggression, headaches, dizziness, confusion, lack of concentration and impulsive decision-making. Your body needs to right itself as quickly as possible, leading to sugar cravings. First, you get more of a dopamine boost from foods that are high in sugar or fat.

However, as a person drinks more and more over time, the brain adapts to the dopamine rush. When you drink alcohol, your liver becomes preoccupied with metabolizing alcohol. While it’s focused on this, it cannot release enough glucose into the bloodstream.

Recovery Support

Last year, we expanded our services to include robust mental health services, new locations, and specialized services for our nation’s veterans with more to come this year! Like alcohol, sugar is highly addictive since your brain reacts similarly to it. Some people turn to sugar to satisfy their craving for alcohol, swapping one addiction for another. This increases their risk of eventually relapsing and returning to alcohol use. Alcohol initially boosts dopamine levels, which produces a feeling of relaxation and happiness.

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