Can Sugar be More Addictive than Cocaine?


I believe that it is safe to say that sugar had pretty much been irrelevant to the human diet until recent times.  Although sugary drinks have been around since the 18th century, I don’t believe we had the sugar dependence then as we do now.   As we have evolved to this modern era, people are eating and drinking more sugar than ever before and it is showing in our ever growing numbers of people dealing with obesity.  When it comes to weight gain and obesity, we are looking at epidemic proportions.  There are so many negative effects that sugar can cause us and it is imperative that we start to realize just how bad this addicting food is.

Are we sure this isn’t cocaine? It sure is addicting!

Even though I am not a scientist, I believe that when you have lived with the addiction for as long as I have, you somehow have awareness and understanding that should be acknowledged regardless of what title or degree you hold, so long as you are willing to gain knowledge from licensed professionals as well as people with first-hand life experiences.

Scientific Study

In a 2007 study, scientists found that experimental lab rats preferred sugar to the highly addictive drug cocaine. There is still much to learn about the lingering effects of sugar in our diets, but as we continue on our quest to rid ourselves of this highly addictive drug, I find that it is important that we seek out science for answers and support.

As I have begun to read about sugar addiction, I found what I had not known before and that is that we have two receptors, located on our tongue, that are to blame for all the trouble with this sugar addiction we find ourselves in. These two receptors send signals of reward to our brains that make us feel pleasure. Unfortunately, we are wanting more and more of this pleasure filling sugar filled reward, and the consequences, in my opinion, are dire.


Please read the scientific study sourced below which goes into detail about the highly addicting drug we know as sugar:

Article Source: Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward
Lenoir M, Serre F, Cantin L, Ahmed SH (2007) Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward. PLOS ONE 2(8): e698. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000698

4 thoughts on “Can Sugar be More Addictive than Cocaine?

  1. I have slowly been tapering off of the sugar the last few weeks, and I find it easier to do when I am on vacation. I have to admit, I am quick to anger and be grouchy, but I think it is worth it. I also find I am eating more fruit which I know is good for me. Can you tell me how long it takes before the real physical “addition” phase ends. I had to quit smoking years ago, and I had to use a smoker’s hotline. I really had withdrawal for a couple three weeks before I became more comfortable. The 90 day mark was also a time I felt a lot of urges. Is it similar with the sugar withdrawal?
    Thanks, Eric

    1. Hi, Eric. I am now starting week 4 of Whole30 and I think that my cravings and physical desire to want sugar really subsided in week three. I have been very strong and have had the so called “bad foods” all around me and have not caved. In the past several years, I have gained a lot of weight and it started to become a problem for me. I was hurting everywhere and I couldn’t do things that I used to do. It really started to worry me. The good thing about Whole30 is that you can have fruit for that sugar fix you might need and all the while losing weight in the process. I haven’t been hungry so much which is not good, but I love my coffee and I think that is curbing my hunger. I am striving to get three meals in a day. I eat well with lots of salads and meats (which may or may not be bad to eat) and veggies. They want you to eat three meals a day so you start rewiring your brain to move away from those addictive foods and I understand why. If you are constantly snacking, you might not change your relationship with food as the craving will still be there. When I find myself wanting something sweet, I grab a bowl of grapes, strawberries, and throw in some cashews. That has worked for me and I am feeling so much better. I have a long way to go. I will probably extend this for another 30 days and then go from there. I suggest buying the WHOLE30 book found on my post. It has so much information and will give you answers you might need. However, if you don’t want to go that route, look online or come here for support. I’m here for support for anyone needing to vent 🙂

  2. Hi Melissa, very nice informative page. Yes indeed it takes 21 takes for the sugar addiction to go away. The hardest part is to make it there without getting off the wagon. I did it 2 years ago but once you touch it again you go backward…. its hard to stay on track…any suggestions?

    1. Thank you for visiting my page, Carole. What I have been doing to help curb my craving is doing the Whole30 program which gives you a restart of your mind and body. I am on day 27 of no sugar and I can tell you I feel so much better. I have had some cravings, but not like I used to. Today was my birthday and I had cake at my party and I had none. Instead, I had a cup of fruit. That is huge for me. If you look at this post of mine, you can see the difference in just three weeks
      https://sugar-addict.com/whole30-week-3
      Now, some people say that Whole30 is too extreme and too hard. But, like the developers of it say, “Fighting Cancer is hard, drinking your coffee black is not.” I love this quote because it is true. There are a lot of hard things in life, quitting the bad foods for 30 days is challenging, but not hard. We can all do it. I truly suggest trying this if you are wanting a restart. After the 30 days, I suggest these things: Eat natural foods which help with cravings, prepare in advance so you don’t fall off the wagon, take the time to exam your emotions, exercise, and be kind to yourself. Remember a craving only lasts about 3-5 minutes. So, keep yourself busy so as not to give in to it. It is ok if you slip, just get back on and never give up. Thanks for your comment and question. Hope to see you back here.

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