For a while, I thought that people were exaggerating when they compared sugar to a drug. But then came the studies which compare the similarities in brain stimulation between drug users and people who had eaten foods containing refined sugar. These are quite remarkable, and they do make a good case for the similarity.
Recently I’ve gained a new appreciation for the similarity between sugar and drugs. It came from this quote from William Dufty’s 1975 book Sugar Blues:
“In about fortyeight hours, I was in total agony, overcome with nausea, with a crashing migraine. If pain was a message, this was a long one, very involved, intense but in code. It took hours to break the code. I knew enough about junkies to recognize reluctantly my kinship with them. I was kicking cold turkey, the thing they talked about with such terror. After all, heroin is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the poppy and they refine it into opium and then they refine it to morphine and finally to heroin. Sugar is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the cane or the beet and they refine it to molasses and then they refine it to brown sugar and finally to strange white crystals. It’s no wonder dope pushers dilute pure heroin with milk sugar —lactose—in order to make their glassine packages a treat to the eye. I was kicking all kinds of chemicals cold turkey—sugar , aspirin, cocaine, caffeine, chlorine, fluorine, sodium, monosodium glutamate, and all those other multisyllabic horrors listed in fine print on the tins and boxes I had just thrown in the trash. I had it very rough for about twenty-four hours, but the morning after was a revelation. I went to sleep with exhaustion, sweating and tremors. I woke up feeling reborn.”
—–Sugar Blues, William Dufty, 1975, Warner Books, Inc, p. 22–3
Right, heroin and sugar. Cousins.
I don’t use heroine. Why should I ‘use’ sugar? The problem is that it’s very hard to kick the sugar habit. It’s found in almost every processed food, and is so easily obtainable. And it’s highly addictive. The best solution is to work hard, stop consuming it and never look back.