Addiction: drugs vs. food Essay

Lynch William Armrests sociology 1301 11/23/13 Addiction: Food vs.. Drugs Millions of people suffer from an addiction of some sort. A person can actually suffer from addictions to all sorts of things. It’s sad to say the first thing that comes to the minds of pretty much everyone when they hear the word addiction, is drugs. Controversy is at an uproar over whether or not food is addictive. As a matter of fact, food Is the last thing on a person’s mind when addiction comes about.

Though It’s hard to believe yes, there are tons of people who are addicted to food. Really, one could go on to say that food is even more addicting than drugs. Compare the number of overstates in America to those who are addicted to drugs. Then you’ll see it is clear addiction Is a problem In our society, but what’s the difference between the two. While there Is a distinct difference In numbers there really Isn’t much difference whether it is food addiction or drug addiction. It has been said that by 2011, an estimated 22. 5 percent of Americans have abused drugs (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

As opposed to the 30 percent who are overeat(Food Addiction Institute ). Looking In from a functionalist perspective one might argue that drug and food addiction are both necessary as a part of society. A functionalist might argue that by having drug and food addicts we bring attention to problems in healthcare. According to the functionalist the addict population may inform and educate the society as a whole about the dangers of addiction and Its Impact overall. Basically a functionalist would say that It Is Important to society and Is better for society as a whole.

On the other hand conflict theorists might argue that by having addicts (and Hereford experience discrimination at work, difficulty in social life, premature death and numerous health problems) might deeply ensure the status of the powerful few at the top of the food chain. Conflict theorists might say that addiction keeps people that are emotionally unbalanced, who have no willpower to control their eating and drug abusing, out of the top, theoretically speaking. If you think about it being an addict pretty much brings social mobility to a halt and limits abilities to generate and excel In work.

The human body needs food. A person survives off food. Which Is finitely not the case for drugs. A person can avoid drugs but not food. There isn’t one place in America a person can go that doesn’t have food. Whereas drugs, well you get the picture. Imagine yourself taking a shot of whiskey, puffing on a cigarette, having a toke of marijuana, or maybe even a snort of cocaine, Of course you must overlook the fact that these drugs are legal or illegal. The chemistry involved in the moment you take that shot, that puff, that toke, or that snort is astonishing.

They all set off a chain reaction of molecules surging through the bloodstream into the brain. For some people foods rich in sugar, fat, or salt trigger feel good chemicals such as dopamine. Dopamine Is the same feel good chemical that Is triggered by addictive drugs. According to Perspectives magazine, “the initial site of action for addictive 1 OFF dopamine system is important for the rewarding and reinforcing properties of drugs of abuse and drives some aspects of food seeking as well… “(Saddened ). In addicts, once dopamine is released that person quickly feels the need to eat again or abuse drugs again.

The signals from fatty, sugary, Junk foods might override other signals of illness. This is why food addicts typically tend to eat even when they aren’t hungry. Addicts may develop a tolerance to food and drugs alike, requiring that they eat or abuse more and more only for them to become satisfied less and less. According to Jeffrey L. Fortune, “during the early stage of drug use a small amount of the drug triggered a “priming effect,” that is, an exaggerated euphoric response. It is postulated that over time individuals become physiologically dependent and a small dose is ineffective, and a larger dose is necessary… Kisses in the naive food addict, he consumption of a small amount of a highly palatable food produced euphoria over tranquilizer. Over time, this effect diminished and notably higher quantities of food were required to achieve the desired affect” (Fortune). Let’s say for instance you’ve sworn off dessert or promised to start a diet, then turn around and start doing old habits again. Both types of addicts are likely to make numerous unsuccessful attempts to quit. Both addicts continue to use or eat even if they have lost everything that matters most to them.

Food addiction may not bankrupt you or land you in Jail in he same manner as drug abuse, but food addicts may experience serious health consequences and still continue to struggle with poor eating habits. It’s a shame to be able to say that some of the same factors that complicate people in the battle with drug addiction are at work when Junk foods are eaten. This is clearly an important similarity between food and drug abuse. The risks a person has for addiction is influenced by his/her biology, environment, and stage of development. The more risks an individual has, the higher the chance of becoming addicted.

Ascribed tutees, such as gender and ethnicity, might influence drug addiction and food addiction in general. A person’s environment involves many influences, from family and friends to socioeconomic status and generally the quality of life. Many factors for instance, peer pressure, stress, and parental involvement can influence the risk for drug abuse and food addiction in one’s life. Even though taking drugs at any age may eventually lead to addiction, the earlier one begins to use drugs the more likely it is to progress to an addiction. Why? Teens are still developing.

This means their brains re also still developing, more specifically in the decision making, Judgment and self- control areas. We need food to live there is no doubt about that, but becoming dependent on food in the same way someone can drugs is appalling. “in some individuals highly palatable foods trigger endorphin and dopamine release in a manner that is quite similar to many drugs of abuse… Alfalfa and colleagues have proposed that a possible explanation for overeating is that processed foods with high concentrations of refined sugar and fat are addictive substances, based upon their euphoric neural effects” (Fortune ).

Numerous experiments have been conducted in animals and humans alike, in order to show how certain parts of the brain that’s triggered by addictive drugs is also triggered by highly palatable foods. In a small study at Connecticut College Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students tested rats with Ore cookies to see how the brain responds to high sugar foods. The results responded to drugs. According to medical news today this could explain why most people have a hard time resisting an entire sleeve of the cookies (Paddock). Another discovery made by the group is that the rats like to eat the creamy center first.

Medical News today proudly states “that the rats were significantly more likely to spend time on the Ore side of the maze. The team also compared these results to rats that were trained with morphine or cocaine rather than Ores. They found that regardless of the substance offered to the rats, they spent about the same amount of time on the “drug side. ” The Ores actually activated more cells in the brain area than cocaine or morphine, which suggests that that delicious combination of sugar and fat might be even more delectable to our brains than drugs” (Paddock).

This search might even bear some importance to public health issues, namely the fact that high sugar/ high fat foods are often low priced and highly addictive. Although we associate health hazards in taking drugs, foods high in fat and sugar content might present even more of a danger, because of their accessibility and affordability. It’s unbelievable that products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with low socioeconomic statuses, which may partially explain the growing number of obese people.

It is said that obesity results from an addiction to food that strongly resembles addiction to drugs (Saddened). Others may look at this differently because a person does not necessarily have to be obese or overweight to be addicted to food, you might say genetics play a major role in that. People think, “Oh a food addict, they must be overweight. ” It’s thought that because a person overeats compulsively he/she must have more than a little meat on their bones. Overall, it may be Just as hard for a food addict to put down the pizza as it is for a drug addict to avoid their next fix.

You may feel as though you are addicted to a retain type of food, but it’s unlikely that you’ll cut yourself from off from friends because you can’t face having them sit in front of you while you scarf down numerous candy bars. It’s highly doubtful that you’d bar the door to your home in order to hide the overflow of wrappers in your trash. The kids aren’t going barefoot because you blew your paycheck on Goodie. Only a true addict would go to extremes. Really only addicts in general would reach extreme behaviors. This proves that there is little difference between drug addiction and food addiction now days.