4. Sugar is as addictive as heroin

You’ve likely seen the sensational newspaper headlines proclaiming sugar is just as addictive as drugs like heroin and cocaine. However, the notion that sugar and heroin are equally addictive is ludicrous, not to mention offensive.

Drugs like heroin cause physical changes in the body that cause intense cravings for more drugs. Users develop physical dependence, characterized by tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance means users need continually increasing amounts of the drug in order to achieve the same effect. Withdrawal symptoms are the unpleasant effects that occur when the drug is discontinued; in many cases, withdrawal symptoms are so unbearable that an addict will take the drug solely to relieve those symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms for heroin include anxiety, depression, chills, cold sweats, severe bone and muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and uncontrolled limb spasms. Withdrawal from heroin, alcohol, and benzodiazepines can be dangerous and even deadly.

It is impossible to develop a physiological dependence on sugar. Sugar does not cause tolerance or withdrawal. You cannot become addicted to sugar in the same way you can become addicted to a drug like heroin; it’s just not possible.

It’s outrageous and insensitive to compare sugar cravings to heroin addiction. It’s true that we can develop strong cravings for sugar and can struggle to stop consuming sugar even when it’s causing us health issues. However, the suggestion that sugar is just as addictive as heroin is outright absurd.