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Alexander Richardson
Alexander Richardson

Sugar Is Like Crack Cocaine

The sugar crash experienced following the consumption of sugar is also similar to the comedown of some abused drugs. Although people are not as likely to become addicted to sugar in the same ways as they would to drugs, there is some evidence to suggest that intermittent sugar intake can lead to both behavioral and chemical changes in the brain that are similar to the effects of substance abuse.2

sugar is like crack cocaine

Although sugar can alter the brain in similar ways as cocaine, quitting sugar is significantly easier to do than quitting drugs, and it can be done without professional care. On the other hand, addictive drugs like alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioids require professional inpatient or outpatient treatment to prevent health complications, decrease the risk of relapse, and ensure the individual actually completes their treatment plan.

Crack is produced by dissolving powdered cocaine in a mixture of water and ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The mixture is boiled until a solid substance forms. The solid is removed from the liquid, dried, and then broken into the chunks (rocks) that are sold as crack cocaine.

Individuals of all ages use crack cocaine--data reported in the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicate that an estimated 6,222,000 U.S. residents aged 12 and older used crack at least once in their lifetime. The survey also revealed that hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults use crack cocaine--150,000 individuals aged 12 to 17 and 1,003,000 individuals aged 18 to 25 used the drug at least once.

"Excess sugar consumption has been proven to contribute directly to weight gain," she said. "It has also been shown to repeatedly elevate dopamine levels which control the brain's reward and pleasure centres in a way that is similar to many drugs of abuse including tobacco, cocaine and morphine.

Professor Bartlett added: "Our study found that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs like varenicline, a prescription medication trading as Champix which treats nicotine addiction, can work the same way when it comes to sugar cravings."

However, in 2015, Dr James DiNicolantonio published a review into the dangers of sugar, telling told Here & Now: "When you look at animal studies comparing sugar to cocaine, even when you get the rats hooked on IV cocaine, once you introduce sugar, almost all of them switch to the sugar."

Research carried out on 50 cocaine-addicted rats showed that 48 of the rodents ditched the drugs when they were given the chance to get their claws on sugar water. Presumably the other two went to an all-night rave.

The nucleus accumbens is the same part of the brain that is activated by certain drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, nicotine, and morphine! In other words, the job of food designers is to create foods that hook your brain, just like addictive drugs.

"Crack" is the street name given to cocaine that has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a free base for smoking. It is in the form of small, hard, white chunks and is a stimulant to the central nervous system. Crack is deadlier than other forms of cocaine and is extremely addictive. Anyone using crack may become an addict in two to three weeks, and in some cases, people who try crack become instantly addicted the first time they use the drug.

The "high" is immediately followed by an intense "low". The "low" begins with feelings of sadness and depression, followed by irritability, sleeplessness, and paranoia. Finally, the user experiences a schizophrenic-like psychosis with delusions and hallucinations. The use of crack is also accompanied by a number of physical side effects.

ACID is what actually causes cavities. And bacteria in the oral cavity can produce these acids as a byproduct of sugar. In fact, in the absence of these sugar-loving bacteria, Strep Mutans and Lactobacillus species, decay is unlikely.

In fact, a study by Ahmed, Guillem and Vandalee, published in 2013 showed that on a neurobiological level, sugar is actually more powerful (robust) than cocaine and is even more rewarding and attractive.

The crack version of cocaine contains powdered cocaine mixed with water and ammonia or baking soda. This mixture is heated until the water is removed, leaving behind tiny crystals of the drug. To identify drugs like cocaine, you can identify crystals that are typically an off-white color and look a bit like rock candy. The drug is sold in small glass or plastic vials with screw-top lids.

Sugar addiction, much like narcotic drugs, has many adverse effects on your body and your life. Sugar is ok within certain ranges, but when someone suffers from a sugar addiction, the levels consumed often reach unsafe amounts. Sugar can cause nutrient imbalances or deficiencies, behavioral changes, increased risk of diseases and sickness, and bodily impairments.

Stimulant use (such as crack, cocaine, and methamphetamine) reduces appetite, and leads to weight loss and poor nutrition. Users of these drugs may stay up for days at a time. They may be dehydrated and have electrolyte imbalances during these episodes. Returning to a normal diet can be hard if a person has lost a lot of weight.

The "War on Drugs" reached new heights in the 1980s. Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign flooded the schools and media outlets. In this environment, a new drug emerged that horrified and mobilized people: crack cocaine. The media screeched that crack was more addictive, concentrated and destructive than any other drug, fueling the drug-war blaze.

Already, the existence of crack cocaine shows the naivete inherent in the deterrence rationale of prohibition. Instead of deterring cocaine use, prohibition spurred the black market to adapt to prohibition by producing stronger, cheaper and more highly addictive versions of existing drugs. Prohibition and the resulting black markets have been co-evolving.

In response, Congress united in support of new federal mandatory minimum sentences meant to crack down on high-level traffickers under the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act (ADAA). The law imposed a five year mandatory minimum sentence for distribution of five grams of crack cocaine, enough to fill a sugar packet, while imposing the same sentence for 500 grams of powder cocaine.

Rather than deterring drug trafficking, this "get tough" posture led to utter disaster in the African American community. By the early 1990s, nearly 90 percent of crack cocaine defendants in federal court were black, even though nearly two-thirds of crack cocaine users were white or Hispanic. Imprisonment rates and sentence lengths skyrocketed. Many black communities were ravaged as enforcement disproportionately affected the young and their families. Yet harsh sentences have only partly been mitigated by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

Class-based policing was aggravated by several features unique to crack cocaine. The triggering thresholds for the mandatory minimums were so low that it facilitated police focus on small-time crack users, who were easier to catch and subdue than dangerous high-level dealers. The nature of crack cocaine, which is usually cooked from powder cocaine by users, further ensured that street-level dealers and users would be targeted. In other words, there were rarely high-level dealers with crack cocaine.

At the prosecutorial level, the targeting of poor minorities was also exacerbated. Crack cocaine penalties were representative of the increasing array of tools available for prosecutors, increasing their power relative to defendants and judges. First, the surge of crack-cocaine-dealing arrests gave prosecutors fodder for easy convictions. Second, mandatory minimums provided leverage in plea bargaining: when faced with a possible five- or 10-year sentence, many defendants would accept a plea agreement rather than risk conviction at trial. Third, federal conspiracy laws allowed prosecutors to pin the drug amount in the entire conspiracy on any given defendant, even if her involvement was minimal. This led to the infamous "girlfriend problem," where girlfriends of crack dealers became eligible for lengthy federal sentences after serving as couriers or using drug money to feed their children. Prosecutorial harshness was backed up by the Department of Justice's general stance in favor of severity in these cases.

Finally, at a macro political level, crack-cocaine-sentencing policy was at the center of political infighting between Congress and the judiciary. In the 1980s, members of Congress opposed leniency in sentencing by mandating that a commission create sentencing guidelines that would bind judges. In order to write rational and proportionate guidelines, the commission was forced to incorporate the 1986 mandatory minimums as a sentencing floor, thus skewing sentences for all crimes upwards. The "ratchet up" effect was amplified as Congress passed a flurry of directives in order to micro-manage the guidelines amendment process, and increase its own power relative to the judiciary. When the commission voted to reduce the sentencing guideline for crack cocaine in the mid-1990s, Congress rejected the amendment. Tough-on-crime rhetoric and power politics proved more important to Congress than reality.

How addictive is sugar? Sugar is more addictive than cocaine and other popular opioids. In particular, refined sugar causes people to experience negative physical health issues and depression. In addition, if a person attempts to stop eating sugar or reduces their intake by a large amount, the brain will feel affected, and functioning will be manipulated. Believe it or not, most processed foods contain high amounts of sugar, which is why many people become hooked on foods they know are unsuitable for their overall health. Seeking cocaine rehab is advised to avoid life-threatening conditions.

Technically, sugar is a drug. The substance has drug-like effects and spikes dopamine which is the happy-reward chemical in the brain. Specific neurotransmitters send signals to the reward circuit in the brain that heightens the feelings of pleasure. Like cocaine, sugar activates the opioid receptors in the brain, which increases the chance of addiction.


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