Find Local Treatment Options
Call 800-481-6320 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Food Addiction vs. Drug Addiction: How are they Alike?

For years, there has been a debate on whether or not there are similarities between food and drug addiction. However, studies have shown that both addictions have similar characteristics. There are many ways a food addiction and drug addiction are alike.

Reward System in the Brain

The most relevant similarity between these two addictions is the response in the brain. The NIDA defines addictions as a compulsive drug use that characterizes a relapsing brain disease regardless of consequence.

Drugs and some processed junk foods create an enjoyable sensation in the brain through the neurotransmitter dopamine, which control pleasure and self-control. This is okay in small doses, but if it is continued, the addictions will change the way the brain works and appears by reducing the dopamine receptors, thus making substances less of a want and more of a need.

Oh Those Cravings

Food Addiction

Food addiction causes similar withdrawal symptoms as drug addiction.

Like a drug addiction, compulsive eaters will find themselves craving processed junk food. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, studies have shown that foods made rich with large amounts of salt, sugar, and flour can cause increases in the dopamine within the brain, which causes a craving for those foods.

These foods can be more addictive than some other drugs in a few ways, which can cause adverse affects like obesity and heart problems.

Much like a drug addiction, a food craving can be triggered with something as simple as milkshakes, which will only serve to fuel the addiction. Both addictions can cause the user to continue to use their substance long after everything that matters to them have gone.

Food addictions usually do not involve criminal activity like drug addictions do, but they do have many serious health problems such as diabetes and heart diseases.

Withdrawal and Tolerance Symptoms

Two of the best ways to discover an addiction is to look for a tolerance and withdrawal to the substance. People suffering from a food addiction can eat larger doses of their food but feel discomfort when they try to quit.

In several studies, the withdrawal symptoms of food such as anxiety or tremors are very similar to that of a drug addiction.

Along with the abuse of drugs or food, the person can feel ashamed and withdraw from their loved ones in order to binge eat. Some may even give up their extracurricular due to changes in their appearance or new bad habits. Especially those who gain weight may withdraw from their lives completely for fear of judgment or teasing.

Food and Stress

Denial & Failed Attempts

People with a drug addiction can fall under the delusion that they can quit whenever they want. Similarly, people with a food addiction can believe that they just like to eat, so they do not have a problem. Much of this has to do with the denial of how much they actually eat based on an underestimated number of calories he or she eats.

Recovering from a drug addiction can be a long, frustrating process due to the relapses an individual may have. Similarly, food addicts experience failed attempts at eating well and despite dieting, they can go back to old habits fast.

The only way to recover from either addiction is through treatment with professionals who will know how to handle the physical and mental ramifications of the substance addiction.

Food and drug addictions share many similarities. Both share an influence on the reward system of the brain, cravings, withdrawal and tolerance symptoms, and denial about their condition.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and needs help, call 800-481-6320 to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.

More Rehab Centers Resources

Treatment Offered at Cocaine Rehab Centers

cocaine recovery

Cocaine rehab centers are a great resource for those who are struggling with cocaine addiction. Cravings can be very severe for someone who is addicted to cocaine; he or she will likely need help and will not be able to fight the addiction entirely alone. The treatments that are offered at a cocaine rehab center….

Continue reading

How Art Therapy Benefits Rehab Patients

Art therapy, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is a nontraditional type of therapeutic modality that is considered to be “not only compatible with but also essential to the success of treatment” for many individuals in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. Art therapy can be extremely beneficial to rehab patients in many….

Continue reading

Drug Rehab and Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis treatment maybe the ticket to your recovery!

Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe a situation in which an individual suffers from two distinct medical conditions at the same time. In most cases, when it comes to drug rehab a dual diagnosis is the result of an individual suffering from drug or alcohol addiction as well as a co-occurring mental disorder….

Continue reading

Understanding Drug Rehab Insurance Options

Drug rehab insurance can help you with the high costs of rehab.

Many insurers cover drug treatment to some extent whether it’s comprehensive coverage that will pay for the entire cost of a drug rehab center or your insurer only covers certain aspects of treatment it’s important to understand what you options are for drug rehab insurance before you enter into a treatment program. Some questions you….

Continue reading

Are Free Inpatient Rehab Centers Too Good to Be True?

rehab for drugs

Free inpatient rehab centers actually do exist. Though these facilities are not as common as paid inpatient facilities, they can be found and patients in need are able to receive 24-hour care in a controlled environment which can significantly help their chances of making a successful recovery from addiction. How Many Facilities are Free? According….

Continue reading

The New Direction- Highly Structured Alcoholism Treatment

Alcoholism treatment can help you overcome your addiction!

Highly structured alcoholism treatment provided by The New Direction reduces free time in an effort to keep risky behaviors, cravings and anxiety at bay during the early days of sobriety. Studies show that structure and stability increase the chances of alcohol addiction recovery. The New Direction is proud to offer a highly structured treatment program….

Continue reading

Understanding 12 Step Alcohol Rehab Centers

Alcohol rehab centers offer 12 step programs to help you overcome your addiction!

For those suffering from alcohol addiction, 12 step alcohol rehab centers can help to rebuild faith and trust in one’s self, heal the spirit and providing the right level of treatment and counseling to ensure a recovery from addiction. The 12-step program is one of the oldest forms of alcohol treatment, coined by Alcoholic’s Anonymous….

Continue reading

How Long Does Therapeutic Community Treatment Last?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the therapeutic community is the “best-known residential treatment model,” although many individuals do not actually realize what it entails or know how long treatment even lasts. Treatment Lengths for the Therapeutic Community Model “Planned lengths of stay [for therapeutic community patients last] between 6 and 12 months.”….

Continue reading

Still can't find the help you are looking for?Get Started Now
Accepted Insurances / View the full list
For inquiries call800-481-6320

Accepted Insurances Does My Insurance
Cover This?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This