“One of the many doctors who had the opportunity of reading this book…,” the authors of Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly called “The Big Book” write, “…told us that the use of sweets was often helpful, of course depending upon a doctor’s advice.” Sweets are part of the recovery lifestyle. Sugar, a stimulant substance on its own, is created in the blood stream by alcohol. Many addicts and alcoholics undergo severe sugar cravings in the first months of recovery as their body searches for some kind of substance to satisfy its urges. Of course, many addicts and alcoholics oversee the “depending upon a doctor’s advice part.”
Relying heavily on sweets, many persons in recovery can put their health at risk by swapping their drug and alcohol addiction for sugar addiction. Referring to said doctor, the authors continue, “He thought all alcoholics should constantly have chocolate available for its quick energy value at times of fatigue.” Sugar creates a spike in the bloodstream which can create a powerful surge of energy. However, it is often followed by a dreadful crash or “coming down” which can lead to emotional disturbances and extremes. Watch any child eat a plentiful amount of candy then come off the sugar high later and be reminded of a drug addict detoxing from drugs. Emotional, craving more candy, exhausted, and sick to their stomachs, eventually they pass out to sleep it off.
“Many of us have noticed a tendency to eat sweets,” the author continue to elaborate, “and have found this practice beneficial.” For late night cravings, morning cravings, or cravings of any kind, addicts and alcoholics turn to candy, coffee, energy drinks, or other stimulating substances.
Reliance on sugar in the beginning is normal and acceptable. A box of candy or an occasional energy drink is understandably a better option than relapsing on drugs and alcohol. Still, the use needs to be monitored and restricted to some degree. Due to the nature of addiction and alcoholism, it is easy to use sugar and stimulating substances as an escape from difficult emotions, challenging therapy sessions, or a way to detach from the reality of treatment. Too much sugar and caffeine can also alter one’s mood, creating anger, energy, and rage which should be better placed somewhere else.
If you notice your early recovery sugar cravings turning into more than the occasional candy bar, you might want to examine what is going on in therapy or your life to trigger these cravings. Balanced nutrition and diet are important parts of a healthy recovery program for lifelong change.
Design For Change offers residential long term treatment programs to men and women seeking lifelong change in their lives. Providing a refuge for addicts, our programs promise the freedom and hope of recovery. For more information, call us today at (877) 267-3646.