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The socially acceptable addiction

Karen Minty's picture
Fri, 09/28/2018 - 15:58 -- Karen Minty

I have an addiction. Yes, I’m an addict, or at least trying to be a ‘recovering addict’ without too much success. Society won’t help me. There are no detox centres for my addiction nor clinics handing out substitute drugs for it. I’m on my own.

Society won’t help me because it’s a socially acceptable addiction. There is no funding for programs because a very large portion of the economy thrives on me being addicted. They want us all to be addicted, that’s how they make money.  

I’m addicted to sugar.

There’s a lot of banter about addiction lately, about whether it is a disease or not and the stigma attached to it. But there is no stigma attached to sugar addiction because it is so common-place. Yet, sugar is estimated to be 100X more addictive than heroine. Studies have found that it produces more symptoms than are required to be considered an addictive substance. So why isn’t sugar addiction taken more seriously?

The answer is because it is socially acceptable and even encouraged. It’s easy to obtain, easy to consume and no one will blink an eye when you take a second or third butter tart off the plate of sweets at that event you’re at.   

Manufacturers know that sugar is addictive, yet they still add excessive amounts to their products. It has been proven over, and over again, yet there are no restrictions on adding it to commercially prepared food. It’s simple math, when you’re addicted to their food, you’ll buy more, hence they will sell more. The economy depends on it.

I have been eating ‘clean’ for over 3 months now, but I’ve still consumed sugar. Unlike drugs or alcohol, it is literally impossible to cut out completely. There are still days that I wake up thinking about sugar, it preoccupies my mind for hours at a time. Some days, it takes everything I have to not shove a chocolate bar in my mouth. But it does get better. The cravings slowly subside, then jump out of nowhere to attack you, then subside further.

Sugar addiction may or may not be a real disease. All I know is that similar to my celiac disease, there are things I can do to manage it, and for right now, that’s enough for me.

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