Drug addicts and sugar

  1. 0 Why do cocaine, meth addicts eat so much sugar? I am a CNA/RN student and this weekend at work we had a cocaine, meth addict. When I prepared his tray he told me to add 10 packages of sugar to his tea, 2 for his pudding and ice cream. Salt and pepper on all of his food. Why is that?

    Sandra
  2. Visit  CrazyMommy profile page

    About CrazyMommy

    CrazyMommy has '4' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ICU'. From 'TX'; 33 Years Old; Joined Nov '04; Posts: 68; Likes: 21.

    22 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  meluhn profile page
    0
    Quote from CrazyMommy
    Why do cocaine, meth addicts eat so much sugar? I am a CNA/RN student and this weekend at work we had a cocaine, meth addict. When I prepared his tray he told me to add 10 packages of sugar to his tea, 2 for his pudding and ice cream. Salt and pepper on all of his food. Why is that?

    Sandra
    Was there something wrong with his hands that he was unable to do that for himself? I have never heard of that before. I have heard that alcoholics crave sugar when they quit drinking because of all the sugar they were getting from the ETOH and then suddenly are not getting anymore.
  4. Visit  I love my cat! profile page
    3
    I am not an Addictions Specialist, but I will speculate on why I think many addicts (probably more so w/ recovering addicts) crave sugar:

    Sugar increases Dopamine.....the "feel good" neurotransmitter.
    Addicts were getting their rise in dopamine from their drugs. Now that the drugs are gone, they are looking for other ways to increase their dopamine level. Sugar is a cheap, legal, convenient and yummy way to do this.
    Now, we know that a sugar-rush is pretty short lived.....we hear about the 'crash' that people have after they eat a lot of sugar, so people that want to prevent the sugar drop/crash, eat sugar continually. They want that good feeling back.

    (This feel-good craving is why I feel that many people are obese. Basically, self-medicating with food that increases dopamine levels which, in turn, makes them feel better.)
  5. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    0
    My doctor told me that people self-medicate with carbs, to include sugar. Makes sense to me.
  6. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    0
    When my father was incarcerated in a county jailhouse many years ago, he told me about his cellmate, a heroin addict who was withdrawing badly due to suddenly not having the substance in his system any longer.

    The heroin addict would engage in a barter system with the other inmates to accumulate as many sugary items as possible during mealtimes. He would trade the main courses for items such as desserts, sugar packets, juices, and coffee.
  7. Visit  ERNurse752 profile page
    0
    I agree with the previous posters, and also wonder whether his hands were broken.
  8. Visit  regularRN profile page
    0
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I guess if he was withdrawing he could be a little tremulous...:chuckle
  9. Visit  ERNurse752 profile page
    1
    And sweaty/slippery hands.

    Although, if that were the case, he would need to be fed as well. And I imagine he was able to feed himself just fine.
    regularRN likes this.
  10. Visit  angelp71 profile page
    1
    i have worked inpt psych for years. my least favorite pts are those detoxing from cocaine, heroin, or opiates. they crave and consume ridiculous amounts of sugar bc it hits kind of the same receptors as their drug of choice did. its the only thing that soothes them while detoxing, besides the prn valium, they love that. the added calories dont hurt either since they probably havent eaten in months.
    sethmctenn likes this.
  11. Visit  BabyLady profile page
    0
    Quote from angelp71
    i have worked inpt psych for years. my least favorite pts are those detoxing from cocaine, heroin, or opiates. they crave and consume ridiculous amounts of sugar bc it hits kind of the same receptors as their drug of choice did. its the only thing that soothes them while detoxing, besides the prn valium, they love that. the added calories dont hurt either since they probably havent eaten in months.
    I have heard of this same thing as well.
  12. Visit  Whispera profile page
    0
    I worked a Chemical Dependency inpatient unit for years. The addicts always craved sweets. They were especially fond of SweetTarts and Smarties...
  13. Visit  ERNurse752 profile page
    0
    How about Pop Tarts? I could go for some of those right now, and I'm not even withdrawing from anything.
  14. Visit  regularRN profile page
    2
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]In all seriousness, I have found that a big pitcher full of sprite, OJ and cranberry juice mixed is much appreciated by pts withdrawing from whatever... I guess the sugar content satisfies them for previously mentioned reasons and the quantity of liquid helps with re-hydration. I have also found that such pts require a lot of assistance - even feeding - because the withdrawal symptoms (physical and mental) make it extremely difficult to get it together to perform ADLs. In the acute stages of withdrawal, these pts need a lot of attention.
    moz and whodunit like this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and find your dream job.

Top
close
close