Drug addicts and sugar

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    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
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  3. 22 Comments so far...

  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 0
    My doctor told me that people self-medicate with carbs, to include sugar. Makes sense to me.
  7. 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.
  8. 0
    I agree with the previous posters, and also wonder whether his hands were broken.
  9. 0
    I guess if he was withdrawing he could be a little tremulous...:chuckle
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.


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