Sugar Addiction and Alcoholism

Sugar Addiction and Alcoholism

Sugar Addiction and Alcoholism: The Brain

Contemporary research has shown that a high number of alcohol-dependent and other drug-dependent people have a preference for sweets, especially for foods with a high sucrose concentration. Moreover, both human and animal studies have demonstrated that in some brains the consumption of foods or drinks high in sugar causes the release of euphoric endorphins and dopamine within the reward center of the brain just like drugs of abuse. The neurobiological pathways of drug and “sugar addiction” involve similar parts and processes of the brain.

Sugar Addiction and Alcoholism: The Science

Craving, tolerance, and withdrawal have been documented in both human and animal studies. Furthermore, there seems to be similarity between sugar addiction and narcotic dependence in some people. It has also been observed that the children of alcoholic parents, particularly alcoholic fathers, are at greater risk to have a strong sweet preference, and this may an eating disorder for some. In the last two decades research has noted that specific genes may underlie the sweet preference in alcohol- and drug-dependent individuals, as well as in children alcoholic fathers.

Sugar Addiction and Alcoholism: Eating Disorders

Often times, alcoholics who get sober then develop food addiction. Research has shown that when people binge on carbs and sugar, and then restrict their intake, their bodies create a natural opioid. It is released in the body much like the chemicals released when people are doing other narcotics. According to Tennie McCarty, the founder and CEO of the eating disorder treatment center Shades of Hope, “Often we will see addicts switch off from one drug to another, whether that other drug is nicotine or sugar or other foods. Not everyone will take it to the depths that they have taken their primary addiction.”

A Real Thing: Sugar Addiction and Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

The PET and CAT scans of food addicts look almost identical to that of alcoholics and drug addicts, showing that sugar creates a physical addiction. In addition, sugar addicts carry the same D2 dopamine receptor, the gene that identifies addiction, as alcoholics and addicts. In those ways, biochemically, food addiction is just like addiction to drugs and alcohol. When we talk to recovering alcoholics and addicts who are finding their way to Overeaters Anonymous, we find a very common refrain: I started using sugar or food just like I was using alcohol.” And in some cases, sugar addiction can be just as harmful as alcoholism. McCarty mentions a man she treated whose addiction to sugar made him sicker than his alcoholism. Her patient was a football player and a Gulf War veteran, and in general, was a healthy, athletic man, but then he started drinking and became an alcoholic.

Sugar Addiction and Alcoholism: One in the Same

Many people who experience sugar addiction report that sugar helps them cope just like alcohol once did. People are searching for something to medicate their feelings and they will continue to do that until they look at what they are using over. It comes down to quality of life. Not everyone needs to use something. When people learn healthy coping methods to deal with the issues they can recover from all of their addictions.








If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Is Alcohol More Dangerous Than Heroin?

Is Alcohol More Dangerous Than Heroin?

Heroin is clearly a dangerous drug. It carries a certain stigma because it is illegal. And no doubt, deadly. But what about alcohol? It, too, is a drug but, it is legal. Does that mean that alcohol is any safer than other drugs like heroin?

The World Health Organization estimates that risks linked to alcohol cause 2.5 million deaths a year from heart and liver disease, road accidents, suicides and cancer — accounting for 3.8 percent of all deaths. It is the third leading risk factor for premature death and disabilities worldwide.

Let’s take a look at the effects of alcohol and heroin, respectively on both the user’s brain and physical body to see how they compare.

Alcohol Effects on the Body

Heart: Alcohol is more dangerous than heroin because it can have serious effects on physical health. And it is not just from drinking a lot over a long time; drinking too much on a single occasion can damage the heart and cause problems such as cardiomyopathy (stretching and drooping of heart muscle); arrhythmia – (irregular heart beat); stroke; high blood pressure.

Liver: Alcohol is more dangerous than heroin because heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, which leads to a variety of problems such as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis.

Pancreas: Alcohol is more dangerous than heroin because it causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, dangerous inflammation and swelling that prevents proper digestion. This can lead to malnutrition and therefore affecting brain function.

Cancer: Drinking too much makes alcohol more dangerous than heroin because it increases your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast.

Immune System: Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body more susceptible to disease.  Chronic drinkers are more likely to contract diseases than people who do not drink too much.  Drinking a lot on a single occasion reduces the body’s ability to fight off infections, even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

Alcohol Effects on the Brain

Looking at the effects on the brain from long-term drinking, it is clear: alcohol is more dangerous than heroin. Extended alcohol consumption can lead to something known as “wet brain.” It is a chronic and debilitating syndrome characterized by persistent learning and memory problems. Patients are forgetful and easily frustrated. They experience difficulty with walking and coordination. Although these patients have problems recalling old information, it is their difficulty in forming new information that is the most striking.

People may not be aware that prolonged liver dysfunction can harm the brain, leading to a serious and potentially fatal brain disorder known as hepatic encephalopathy, which causes changes in sleep patterns, mood, and personality; anxiety and depression; severe cognitive effects such as shortened attention span; and problems with coordination. Alcohol–damaged liver cells allow excess amounts of these harmful byproducts to enter the brain, thus harming brain cells.

Heroin Effects on the Body

Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, constipation and gastrointestinal cramping, and liver or kidney disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health of the user as well as from heroin’s effects on breathing.

In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin often contains toxic contaminants or additives that can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage to vital organs.

Heroin Effects on the Brain

Regular heroin use changes the functioning of the brain. One result is tolerance, in which more of the drug is needed to achieve the same intensity of effect. Another result is dependence, characterized by the need to continue use of the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal Syndrome: Alcohol vs Heroin

Another indication as to the danger of alcohol is its associated withdrawal syndrome. When an alcohol-dependent person suddenly stop drinking, they are subject to many serious symptoms that can even lead to death. Heroin withdrawal, on the other hand, feels like you are dying but it isn’t actually fatal.

The MCDA Scale and Findings

In an effort to offer a guide to policy makers in health, policing, and social care, Professor David Nutt, chairman of Britain’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and his team rated drugs using a technique called Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) which assessed damage according to nine criteria on harm to the user and seven criteria on harm to others.

Harms to the user included things such as drug-specific or drug-related death, damage to health, drug dependence and loss of relationships, while harms to others included crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and damage to community cohesion.

Drugs were then scored out of 100, with 100 given to the most harmful drug and zero indicating no harm at all.

The scientists found alcohol was most harmful, with a score of 72, followed by heroin with a score of 55.

Therefore, their finding is that alcohol is more dangerous than heroin when the combined harms to the user and to others are assessed.







If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Xanax and Alcohol: A Deadly Combination

Xanax and Alcohol: A Deadly Combination

In recent years, as the use of prescription medication has proliferated in the United States, so too have the abuse of and overdose from many of these substances.

Prescription-drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the U.S., says a report issued last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The same report states that in 2007, there were roughly 27,000 unintentional deaths from drug overdoses—or one death every 19 minutes.

But of all the things that people ingest, there are few combinations more life-threatening than alcohol and Xanax, a benzodiazepine in the class of sedatives such as Valium and Klonopin.

What Makes Xanax and Alcohol a Deadly Combination?

When taken together, Xanax and alcohol have what’s known as an additive effect, which means that in the presence of Xanax, alcohol is made more potent than it would be alone.

Both Xanax and alcohol work by depressing the central nervous system of the body, reducing the activity of several mental functions, such as thought, memory, coordination, and respiration.

Alcohol alone doesn’t have that limit, because often times people will pass out before they drink enough alcohol for it to be lethal. When you take the two together and you have a totally different picture – Xanax and Alcohol: a deadly combination.

Prescription drugs and alcohol can be a dangerous combination. Alcohol interacts with anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax, intensifying the drugs’ sedative effects, causing drowsiness and dizziness, and making falls and accidents more likely. A 2010 study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health reported that automobile drivers were much more likely to weave and speed if they were under the influence of drugs like Xanax in addition to alcohol than if they had consumed alcohol alone.

How it Works

Your usual three drinks is actually like drinking six. And because of the additive effect of combining the two substances, it becomes impossible to know just how your body will absorb the alcohol you’ve ingested. Throw in other factors—sleep deprivation, an empty stomach, a cold—and the mixture is made all the more unpredictable and deadly.

Xanax and alcohol is the most deadly combination because it can cause amnesia. So not only is it does this combination affect respiratory function, the amnesic effect it causes is just as deadly. People die accidentally in the truest sense of the word: they don’t remember how many drinks they had, or how many pills they took.

 Why Xanax, in particular

In fact, it is this same rapid action that makes Xanax the most addictive of the benzodiazepines, many neuroscientists believe, providing the sensation of a high more so than other drugs of its class.

Other people start taking prescription drugs just to get high, perhaps in part because they have the false notion that prescription drugs are safer to experiment with than are illicit drugs.

Any benzodiazepine is highly dangerous in combination with alcohol, but Xanax is perhaps the most dangerous, because it is more fast-acting than the others. Because Xanax and alcohol both work on the brain at a rapid-fire pace, their mutually enhancing effect is bolstered compared to slower-acting benzodiazepines, which peaks in the brain more slowly, after the effect of the alcohol may have already begun to decline.






If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

How to Deal with Suboxone Withdrawal

How to Deal with Suboxone Withdrawal

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription medication that contains both buprenorphine
and naloxone. Both of these drugs are often given to addicts recovering from opiate addiction. Suboxone helps addicts overcome any drug cravings, thereby assisting them in the recovery process. Doctors should slowly taper the dosage of suboxone until you no longer need it to cope with the consequences of drug addiction.

The buprenorphine found in Suboxone is similar to what is found in other opiates, like morphine and heroin. As an opiate, buprenorphine can cause your body to become physically dependent on the drug, so when you suddenly discontinue suboxone, it will cause your body to undergo withdrawal. Withdrawal is your body’s way of attempting to recover from excessive drug use. Suboxone withdrawal can range from mild symptoms to serious, possible life-threatening effects.

Signs and symptoms of withdrawal:

  • Uncharacteristic irritability or agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Profuse sweating
  • Excessive tears
  • Runny nose
  • Frequent yawning

However, these symptoms are usually overlooked and may be passed off as symptoms of the flu or other mild diseases.

How to deal with Suboxone Withdrawal

I don’t know. Coffee, ibuprofen, lots of water, natural sleeps aids such as melatonin, hot baths, massage?

As a recovering opiate addict, I tried both a methadone maintenance and suboxone (at different times in my addiction). And quite honestly, the withdrawal sucks. That is totally an understatement.

Some years ago, I kicked methadone. Cold turkey. Not recommended. I stayed away from opiates for a little while but, soon enough, I was back at it. I thought the pain and discomfort of kicking for over a month would be enough to keep me from going down that road again. So, when things got bad again, I decided to get on suboxone. I don’t deny that this can be helpful when detoxing from other opiates (yes other because, after all, suboxone does contain an opiate called buprenorphine). But it is meant to be used short term, as in a week at the most, and with a rapid taper. There will be some discomfort at the end, but nowhere near what it’s like to go cold turkey.

While I was researching suboxone for the purpose of writing this blog and time and time again, I kept finding “information” which stated that, if tapered off of suboxone, you won’t experience any withdrawal symptoms and that if you do, you only think you do; it’s all mental. That’s plain old bullshit. I was on a very low dose of suboxone when I decided to go to treatment. I was taking maybe 4mg a day for the last several months of my active addiction. I tried to taper myself completely but the withdrawals came, and with a vengeance. I could not face suboxone withdrawal again. My solution was going into a medical detox and inpatient program.

If you are facing suboxone withdrawal, you may want to consider doing what I did. There are programs that specialize in suboxone detox that can assist you in the process with very little discomfort.


If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

How to Pass a Drug Test (Hair)

How to pass a drug test (hair)

How does a hair drug test work?

When drug metabolites are in the blood, they’ll end up in the blood vessels, including those in the head, and get filtered through the hair. In basic terms, at least, this is how hair drug testing comes about. When you do drugs the drugs get in your blood and then filtered into the hair.  Hair drug testing can go back months, showing the toxins a person may have used in a time-line fashion. Masking hair is not realistic as the sample is washed to remove left in products or external contamination such as secondhand smoke. A hair drug test involves cutting 50-80 strands of hair from the base typically at the crown of the head. A minimum length of 1 inch is necessary or body hair such as face chest or underarm hair can be used.

What methods can you use to pass a drug test?

  • If you want to pass a hair follicle drug test, you can opt to use detoxifying shampoos. However, it does not give a complete assurance of passing a drug test.
  • There is also the home remedy for passing a drug test which includes 5 steps. The first step you soak your hair in vinegar slowly over a 10 minute period. You then let it sit for fifteen to twenty minutes. Then add liquid detergent and work that through your hair until it is like a paste. Let it sit for about twenty to thirty minutes. After that you can rinse it out but don’t shampoo it. Then if you want to go the extra mile it is recommended for this way to pass a drug test to dye your hair.
  • Another way to pass a drug test that is also risky is to use lemon in your hair and then salicylic acid to wash. According to this way to pass a drug test you can wash your hair after you do the lemon and salicylic wash routine.
  • There are also special cleansers that you can buy online that have been specifically developed for helping you pass a hair drug test. These also though; no matter how many times they guarantee it, are not guaranteed.

The hair follicle drug test is one of the hardest drug tests to pass because there is just no way of getting around or removing what is in your hair follicle. The best way to try and pass a hair drug test is to not do drugs but unfortunately with this type of drug test; certain things can be detected that you may have used months ago. The hair is a real giveaway for employers and probation officers who use this method of testing on how long you have been using drugs and whether or not you may have a problem. There is one flaw in the hair drug test though. It isn’t good at detecting very light marijuana use. It is very good at detecting cocaine and methamphetamine use though.


If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Health Dangers of Tobacco

Health Dangers of Tobacco

The health dangers of tobacco are becoming more and more well-known. Smoking tobacco is a health danger because so many people lose their lives due to tobacco related diseases and these deaths are preventable.

Tobacco harms all different parts of the body such as the heart, lungs and brain. The chemicals and poisons in tobacco can cause emphysema, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. One in two smokers will die prematurely from smoking. But what are the specific health dangers of tobacco? Here are some for starters:

The health dangers of tobacco start somewhere in between the 4,000 chemical components found in cigarettes. Somewhere around 250 of these chemicals are harmful to human health according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some examples of health dangers of tobacco due to the chemicals:

  • 1,3-Butadine is a chemical used to manufacture rubber that is also in tobacco. According to the CDC this can increase risk of cancer in the stomach, blood and lymphatic system.
  • Acrolein is a gas linked to lung cancer also found in tobacco. Acrolein inhibits DNA repair and can destroy the lining in the lungs that protects you from lung disease
  • Arsenic is used to preserve wood. In humans, it can cause heart disease and cancer.
  • Benzene is used to manufacture other chemicals. Benzene can cause cancer, particularly leukemia in humans.
  • Cadmium is a metal used to make batteries. Cadmium can interfere with the repair of damaged DNA as well as damage the kidneys and linings of the arteries.
  • Chromium VI is used to make alloy metals, paint and dyes. It has been proved to be linked to lung cancer.
  • Formaldehyde is a chemical used to kill bacteria and to preserve human and animal remains. It is a known cause of cancer and one of the main substances linked to chronic lung disease and is what is in secondhand smoke.
  • Polonium-210 is a radioactive element inhaled directly into the airway. It has been shown that people who smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes a day are receiving the same radiation they would get from 300 plus x-rays per year.
  • Tar is solid and inhaled chemicals linked with an increased risk of cancer. Tar also leaves a sticky brown residue on the lungs, teeth and fingernails.

Some other health dangers of tobacco include the mixture between carbon monoxide and nicotine. Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas you inhale when you smoke. Once carbon monoxide is in your lungs it enters the bloodstream and decreases the amount of oxygen that is carried by red blood cells. Carbon monoxide can also lead to the hardening of arteries. This can lead to heart disease, artery disease and possibly heart attack. Nicotine is highly dangerous and highly addictive. Nicotine can increase blood pressure, heart rate and the flow of blood to the heart as well as narrowing of the arteries. Nicotine can also contribute to the hardening of arterial walls which can also lead to a heart attack. Nicotine can stay in your blood for up to eight hours depending on how often you smoke.

There are not good health effects of tobacco. The health dangers of tobacco are numerous and deadly in the long term. Quitting smoking can help with reversing some of these health dangers.

If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

How to Pass a Drug Test (Saliva)

How to pass a drug test

Know the rate of detection with each drug, to know if you can pass a drug test (saliva).

  • Marijuana – (THC) Casual Use – (Less Than 3 Times Per Week) 4 days Heavy Use – (3+ Times Per Week) 30 Days
  • Cocaine – (COC) 5 Days
  • Methamphetamine – (METH)4 Days
  • Amphetamines – (AMP) 4 Days
  • Opiates – (OPT) 5 Days
  • Phencyclidine – (PCP) 3 Days
  • Benzodiazepines – (BZO) 4 Days
  • Methadone – (MTD) 7 Days
  • Barbiturates – (BAR) 3 Days
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants – (TCA) 3 Days

So the best way to pass a drug test is just to stop using these substances for that amount of time or longer to be on the safe side. While you can try other things to pass a drug test you may not be able to when it comes to the saliva drug test. The reason for this is that saliva drug tests can be administered at any time; easily, effectively and accurately. There doesn’t have to be any notice ahead of time for this type of drug test. The good news is the saliva drug test has a shorter drug detection period than the urine or a hair drug test and the saliva drug test cannot be used to detect historical drug usage.  Most drugs do not linger in saliva and disappear quickly.  However, detection times for marijuana (THC) in saliva can extend up to 30 days.

A Saliva drug test simply involves using a swab that looks very similar to a common toothbrush, but in place of bristles a swab servers to collect the saliva.  The swab is placed between the lower cheek and gum for about two minutes. Once saturated it takes a few minutes to produce a pass or fail on the spot.

So how do you pass a saliva drug test?

  • Stay off of the drugs. The easiest way to pass a drug test is to not use drugs of course. In the case of a saliva drug test, this means not using for 24 to 72 hours, depending on the drug.
  • Be careful about eating anything containing poppy seeds. Poppy seed muffins can cause you to have a false-positive test result because Opium is made from poppies.
  • Ignore lab orders. If you receive instructions from the laboratory on what not to ingest prior to the mouth swab test, just ignore them. In fact, eating a high-fat meal one hour before the test will actually speed up the rate that drugs would normally move away from your mouth and on to being digested. Eat and drink as you normally would. You don’t want to give them any help proving your guilt.
  • Eat a high-fat meal. Eating a high-fat meal one hour before the test will actually speed up the rate that drugs would normally move away from your mouth and on to being digested.
  • Don’t buy expensive mouthwash products. You may see mouthwash products online that claim to be able to clean away traces of drugs prior to testing, but these aren’t foolproof, and usually cost around $40. The day of your test, clean your mouth by brushing, flossing, and gargling as usual.
  • Altoid mints will help to mask chemicals in the mouth. Suck on Altoid Mints up to the time of your mouth swab test.
  • Chew ice until testing time.  Chewing on ice will also help by keeping the mouth freshly rinsed.


If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Alcohol Addiction Facts

                                     Alcohol Addiction FactsEven though alcoholism is the most common addiction in the United States, many people are unaware of the alcohol addiction facts. Everyone should have an understanding of the following alcohol addiction facts so that we can work together to move towards a cure for this deadly disease.

  • Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a disease; it is not a moral failing or a matter of will power.
  • Even though it is illegal to consume alcohol before the age of 21, roughly 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from an alcohol-related incident including car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other related injuries every year in the United States.
  • It is estimated that 20% of teens in the United States can be labeled as “problem drinkers”. In fact, it is estimated that 25 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States, is done so by those too young to purchase it legally.
  • Another important alcohol addiction fact is that alcohol is one of, if not the most, dangerous drugs to quit. One out of three people suffering from severe alcohol addiction who try to quit without medical help will die due to complications from alcohol withdrawal. All those who are suffering from alcohol addiction should seek medical help to quit.
  • It is possible to have a problem with alcohol, even when it has not progressed to the point of alcoholism. Problem drinking means you drink too much at times, causing repeated problems, but you are not completely dependent on drinking. Both problem drinkers and alcoholics should seek professional help.
  • One of the most important alcohol addiction facts is that alcohol addiction has little to do with what kind of alcohol you drink, how long you have been drinking, or even exactly how much you drink.
  • Alcohol addiction affects people from every type of background, but here are several characteristics that can increase the risk that a person will develop alcoholism. These are known in the scientific community as “risk factors.
  • Children of those who suffer from alcohol addiction are 4 times more likely than others to suffer from alcohol addiction themselves.
  • “Binge Drinking” defined as five or more drinks in a sitting for men and four for women, can increase chances of developing alcohol addiction

These alcohol addiction facts can seem scary but the important point is that there is help available. Thousands of facilities in the United States offer alcohol and drug rehabilitation and treatment services, ranging from short-term residential or in-patient hospitalization to long-term, outpatient counseling and therapy. Treatment can be effective in helping people learn to live a life of sobriety. There is no cure for alcohol addiction, but the disease can be treated and people can live in remission. It is possible for those with an alcohol addiction to recover and live a normal life. If you or someone you know has an alcohol addiction, you should seek help from addiction professional as soon as possible. Untreated alcohol addiction can be deadly.


If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.