Health and Wellness

Is Food Addiction as Dangerous as Drug Addiction?

Many psychologists and physicians have had suspicions for quite some time about the link between food and drug addiction. Individuals with food addiction exhibit some of the same behavior as those addicted to drugs—and could be in just as much jeopardy health-wise. Researchers have even confirmed that food addicts who look at a milkshake experience the same mental reaction as a person who is addicted to cocaine. The anterior cingulate cortex and medial orbitofrontal cortex were affected in women who were offered chocolate milkshakes during the study. These are the parts of the brain that prompt an addict to use drugs.

Food addiction explains why some people have such a difficult time maintaining a healthy weight, and why doctors are having a very challenging time finding obesity treatments that will work for their patients. Amy Gearhardt, of Yale University, asserts that people with food addiction may also anticipate getting some type of reward or satisfaction from compulsory eating—much in the same way that a drug addict anticipates getting high in order to experience euphoria or an unawareness of reality.

Obesity has become such a serious problem in the U.S. that part of President Obama’s new healthcare laws requires that restaurants include calorie counts in their menus. And because many people who overeat may also suffer from depression, these individuals may also take antidepressants occasionally or on a regular basis. It is also likely that these medications are abused and taken in very large doses, which means the likelihood of medication addiction is high.

If a family member or patient is addicted to food, purchasing a test from Complete Drug Testing Solutions will confirm whether the person is addicted to painkillers or antidepressants as well. The tests are very simple to read and administer, and will inform you right away if additional professional help is needed to treat the addiction.


Health and Wellness Substance Abuse

Does Exercise Help Drug Addiction Treatment?

An article on the Huffington Post website suggests that working out can enhance drug recovery treatment. One reason for this is that exercise boosts the endorphins, which submit messages to the brain through neurotransmitters that keep the mood stable. When a person is trying to stop using drugs, the endorphins are missing the stimulus that was needed to produce the “high” feeling that comes from abusing substances. Working out can boost the mood safely, which takes away the need to engage in drug use. Endorphins also help to boost confidence, and when a person feels more secure, he/she is more likely to continue on the recovery journey, even on difficult days.

Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse also asserts that exercise can reduce stress and alleviate depression, which are two of the main reasons why people turn to drug use. Working out also occupies a significant portion of time. Recovering addicts need to be as busy as possible with positive and constructive activity. Too much idle time can cause the addict to start thinking discouraging thoughts about becoming completely sober, and are likely to start using again.

Dr. Volkow also suggests that addicts exercise in a social setting. This encourages more interaction with people who will not influence them to use drugs, and is a great way to make new friends. Joining a gym and participating in a water aerobics or spin class serves as great motivation for a recovering addict to continue exercising regularly.

Noticing a change in one’s body is another reason that exercise is helpful for drug addicts. When a person starts to see that he/she is losing weight, has clearer skin, and toned muscles, this helps to establish a positive self image. Taking pride in one’s appearance and health is a great way to ensure that drug use isn’t a problem again.