Which Is More Addictive?

By diabetesfree Latest Reply 2016-06-30 04:14:35 -0500
Started 2012-02-29 04:42:28 -0600

Was just curious what the rest of you might feel that the answer to this question would be, and why? After trying to give-up chocolate for Lent, I am really left to wonder myself. So, what in your experience is the most addictive?
1. Alcohol
2. Cigarettes
3. Chocolate (all forms)
4. Refined sugar/corn syrup products (candy, ice cream, sodas, etc.)
5. Compulsive eating and/or comfort food
6. Other?

73 replies

Anonymous 2016-06-30 04:14:35 -0500 Report

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natluvsnic 2013-11-19 13:13:06 -0600 Report

Chocolate used to be my addiction now it is anything that will take away the dry mouth side effect I have from meds. I used to use suckers and jawbreakers but then after they wear off I want another and now I use diet soda. I also say comfort food or eating when you aren't hungry could be most addicting too.

Dan360 2012-03-03 08:33:25 -0600 Report

Of the things you listed I believe Cigarettes and Chocolate (because it has caffeine) are addictive because trying to quite will cause withdrawal symptoms. Otherwise I think too much is made of addiction. Just about anything you are drawn to do can be considered an addiction. Love or the tendency to bond with another person can be considered an addiction. My advice is, don't concern yourself with the term — addiction. Just learn to act in the best interest of your health, both physically and emotionally.

diabetesfree 2012-03-06 02:35:49 -0600 Report

Personally, I don't think that the caffeine in chocolate is as addictive as the "high" most people get from it as a result of the release of endorphins. Endorphins very much mimic the effects of opium on the brain, which is about as addictive as it gets. While opium and heroin contain actual opiates that are carried from the bloodstream to the brain, some foods like chocolate trick your brain into producing the same kind of chemical reaction. The result is pretty much the same, albeit less potent. A non-diabetic will probably not OD on something like chocolate, but the sensations produced can be very strong. This is likely the reason for many addictions that are not dependent upon certain drugs. Stuff like sex addiction, certain food addictions, etc. can all be triggered by addiction to endorphin's affect on the brain.

Dan360 2012-03-06 09:07:55 -0600 Report

While endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine they do not cause addiction or dependence. Endorphins are produced by the body all the time in response of stress or pain. Exercise is a known producer of endorphins. Exercise in important to diabetics so to associate exercise with addition and something to be avoided is well, foolish.

annesmith 2012-03-03 02:55:11 -0600 Report

For me, it's cigarettes!!! Without a doubt, I love nicotine so much, because it gives me a huge feeling of exhiliration, and then relaxation to follow. I know I should be ashamed to say I love nicotine, but I can't help it. Despite my love for cigarettes, I have successfully been under a pack a day for a little over a year now. They are bad, I know it. My dad and I both always loved them, though. I cut back a year ago in December. I am glad I did, and my next goal is to get it down to 5 cigarettes a day, then quit. I still have days ( with under a pack a day) where I get withdrawals. Things sound louder kind of , and I get kind of irritated. They are so expensive…that's been a good incentive for me to cut back..nicotine is truly the most addictive thing I have ever had. I've been diabetic for years, and even if someone put a chocolate bar in front of me, versus a cigarette, I'd take the cigarette. I still love chocolate, too, though..ha…ANNE

diabetesfree 2012-03-06 02:41:50 -0600 Report

Depending on what kind of cigarettes you smoke, it is entirely possible that it is not just simply the nicotene you are addicted to. It's been revealed in studies that some of the major tobacco companies adulterate their products with chemicals that make tobacco even more addictive than it is naturaly. Some f these chemicals actually speed the flow of nicotene into your bloodstream after smoking or magnify its effects. I'm guessing that if you switched to smoking cigarettes that contained "just" unadulterated tobacco, that you would have a much easier time slowly decreasing the amount you use. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any regulations that make cigarette makers label their products as such, so natural tobacco might be rather difficult to find.

Young1s 2012-03-03 09:41:29 -0600 Report

I know exactly what you're talking about. They are the same way for me. When I quit drinking, I lost the taste for them and dropped down to about 5-10 a day. I should have made better effort to quit then but because I didn't, I'm back up to a pack a day. It really sucks that this cancer causing menace has such a hold on me but like you I smoke because I love the nicotine. I've quit cold turkey before, when I was carrying my kids, so I know I have the will to quit…just not the want. But I'll quit this too, eventually.

Dan360 2012-03-06 10:01:22 -0600 Report

There is nicotine gum available at your local drugstore without a prescription. It is not destructive to your body like smoking. Nicotine is addictive and it will not help you lose your addiction but it is a much better alternative for your health.

EJMac 2012-03-01 22:42:58 -0600 Report

The one that YOU are working on is the most addictive LOL

Young1s 2012-03-02 08:15:12 -0600 Report

That's right. Especially, if it's something that you are actively trying to change for whatever reason and you're struggling with it.

Caroltoo 2012-03-02 01:04:31 -0600 Report

Good point. Since most of us haven't experienced all of them, there is really no basis for comparison. We just know whatever we deal with personally is tough for us.

That was actually part of what I was addressing in my earlier comment. Since I have worked professionally with people who have these different addictions, I have a unique point of view and was informally summarizing the comments I've gotten from others and what I have observed of their struggles.

robertoj 2012-03-01 03:38:22 -0600 Report

I must have an addictive personality so I have many, many, many addictions x10(at least) Surprisingly sugar and sweetened drinks were the easiest. Alcohol and illicit drugs ruled my life for many years. But cigarettes was the absolute hardest. I have controlled my compulsive eating but I still think about food constantly. But it doesn't cause me stress so I dream impossible dreams of ridiculous quantities and laugh at the sure folly of all. Like my friends never tire of reminding me (last night as a matter of fact) I'm sicker than most. :D Thank God I love dark chocolate.

diabetesfree 2012-03-01 10:50:49 -0600 Report

I can understand where you are coming from. I was so lucky not to get hooked on cigarettes. I lost my entire family to smoking (Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Uncle). They all died of lung cancer or something similar. My life would be so much different if smoking had never existed.

annesmith 2012-03-03 02:57:30 -0600 Report

I am so sorry to hear that..that's another big big reason I have cut back so much, with my next goal to quit completely…I feel guilty. You lost your entire family to smoking…how heart wrenching for you..sincerely, ANNE

jayabee52 2012-03-01 11:02:00 -0600 Report

My parents never smoked, but I lost my dad at 47 due to a freak gunshot accident.

But when I was about 15 y/o Dad lined us kids up in the kitchen, got a cigarette out, lit it and had each of us 5 kids take a puff. We all coughed after taking a drag. At 15, my pretty pink lungs made it very clear it didn't want that stuff in there!

Only one of us smokes today, probably due to being a "lifer" in the Air Force (plus his wife, who was in the Navy also smokes).

I did lose a God father to a 2 or 3 pack a day habit. Watched him turn yellow and wither away like an old leaf before he passed. It made a big impression on my young mind.

annesmith 2012-03-03 03:01:17 -0600 Report

Yeah, one of my best friends ( she's almost 30 years older than me—I am 41), her uncle got lung cancer from smoking cigarettes when she was 3 years old, and she said he stayed overnight for awhile at their house. She said one morning, she got up, and he was coughing SO hard, he literally flew out of his bed, landed on the floor, and black stuff came out with blood…sorry to offend anybody. She said it made it's mark in her memory, and she never smoked when she got older. ANNE

diabetesfree 2012-03-06 02:47:18 -0600 Report

Same thing happened with my Grandfather shortly before he died. It is not an easy way to go, for the smoker or for their families. The event was made that much worse by the fact that we lived in a very remote area where the nearest hospital was 50+ miles away. It took forever for an ambulance to show-up. He never even made it to the hospital.

runthe 2012-02-29 22:42:02 -0600 Report

Refined sugar/corn syrup products (candy, ice cream, sodas, etc.) That is my weakness. I fine myself eating candy just about everyday..

diabetesfree 2012-02-29 23:22:13 -0600 Report

Have you tried substituting any of these with products that use artificial sweeteners? For chocolate, I've found that substitutes just don't taste that good. Some of the candies and sodas are prety good though. Hansen's sodas are my current favorite diet colas.

runthe 2012-03-01 14:29:21 -0600 Report

I tried but some of t he artificial sweeteners leaves an after taste in my mouth. UGH

Caroltoo 2012-03-01 15:47:21 -0600 Report

I hadn't either until it was mentioned on this site recently. Mine is a bottle labeled: Coconut Crystals which I found in Whole Foods.

jayabee52 2012-03-01 10:43:55 -0600 Report

I had found that a while ago Hersheys made a chocolate containing Eritherol. It didn't affect the taste and didn't cause me the sugar alcohol trots either. Unfortunately it disappeared from the store shelves, never to be restocked.

diabetesfree 2012-02-29 20:39:45 -0600 Report

I'm not sure if chocolate makes me more or less depressed after I eat it. I am certainly less depressed WHILE I am eating it.

granniesophie 2012-03-01 05:08:24 -0600 Report

Me too! But I have just discovered that it gives me a headache!! So, another vice bites the dust. Sheesh…what's left??? :)

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-02-29 19:45:20 -0600 Report

I am addicted to cigarettes since being diabetic caused me to give up chocolate on a regular basis. My next addiction is Pogo.com.

annesmith 2012-03-03 03:07:16 -0600 Report

Yeah…I have been diabetic for years, and cigarettes were always my #1 addiction…in fact I love them. However, I know they are bad. They don't reduce my appetite like they do most people. In fact, I'd say I eat more because the cigarettes drain my body of some nutrients…yeah, sounds dumb of me that I still smoke, but have cut way way back from 2 packs a day to under a pack a day for over a year now…proud of myself, but still have a ways to go. I have noticed I get huge "highs" and buzzes from the nicotine, then, a short while later, I am extremely relaxed. That is typical…I have done my research on nicotine, and it initially acts like caffiene with the first few drags, then, it does the opposite. My dad noticed the same thing, in fact, him and I both never cared for the first few drags, but the calming effect we got shortly thereafter is what we loved. What a huge addiction. ANNE

JSJB 2012-03-03 04:39:18 -0600 Report

From 2 pks a day to under 1 is great. NOW lets try to 0 pks and you will feel really relaxed. I use to smoke up 3 pks a day (chain smoked them) but one day I had trouble swolloing so I just quit and never regretted it. Good Luck.

granniesophie 2012-03-01 05:09:29 -0600 Report

I love Poppit!! I could play all day! Luckily, we can't get it at work. I would be fired in a heartbeat cause nothing would get done!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-03-01 10:39:28 -0600 Report

Sophie, the games are relaxing. I played Poppit before they started Club Pogo in one room with a great group of people. Some of us got together and met and still stay in touch. I am now addicted to Canasta, Dominoes, Wonderland Memories, Phlinx, Scrabble and Dice City Roller. I play Dice City in a room with a wonderful group and we have a ball. I love shopping for my mini on Thursdays and can't wait for the new badge games on Wednesday.

jayabee52 2012-03-01 10:49:23 -0600 Report

my new potential girlfriend "SQ" is hooked on scrabble. I love word games like boggle and the one which has the worm in it (can't remember the name now — but it is on pop-cap games). She keeps promising to send me the scrabble link via email, but so far she hasn't shared it with me.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-03-01 11:03:33 -0600 Report

You are talking about Bookworm not one of my favorites. I play Word Whomp, Boggle Bash, Word Jong which is Mahjong with letters, Word Whomp Smackdown, Tumble Bees and Qwerty. However most of those you can only play if you pay to play them and I pay for a Club Pogo Membership.

I also play Pool, Spades, Pinochle, Battleship, Battleship Naval Command, and Clue. I love the search and find games. I played Gardens of Time until my Facebook account was spammed and I lost everything in the game.

diabetesfree 2012-03-01 10:59:05 -0600 Report

When I was a teenager, I was absolutely hooked on video games. I would play them at home for 12 hours at a time on the weekends. This was way back in the 80's, when I had a Commodore 64 and the most "realistic" games were Asteroids, Moon Lander and Defender. Fortunately, I spent SO much time playing them that I was totally burned out on video games by the time I was 16 or so. I never got into any of of the more modern games or consoles. STrange that I would be more addicted to games than just about anything else I can recall. I am so totally NOT tempted to play them now though. :-)

GabbyPA 2012-02-29 19:23:25 -0600 Report

For me it is number 5. I am a distracted eater in front of the TV and of course, I don't eat the good stuff. I want the comfort foods. Sigh...it is rough. The best thing I do to overcome it is to keep busy at night and be on the computer or something else. The pantry stares at me if I watch TV in the living room...is has evil eyes.

2012-02-29 18:45:12 -0600 Report

I know this will sound weird, but I'm addicted to laziness. Which means to lazy to go online, to lazy to do anything but sleep. Wake up shove some type of veggie into my mouth, go back to sleep. Wake up in a couple of hours and do it all over again. Throw in a collage football or basketball game (preferably UCLA) and I'm a happy camper. So my answer is #6.

robertoj 2012-03-01 03:42:58 -0600 Report

I'm both lazy and a workaholic.

JSJB 2012-03-01 03:59:02 -0600 Report

I'm with you James. First thing in the morning, when I come home from work and before I turn in I go on DC. I have a face book account and I rareley go on it. There are more interesting things to read on this site than on FB. By the way how was your doctors visit on Monday? Good news I hope??

diabetesfree 2012-02-29 19:13:25 -0600 Report

Laziness seems to run in my family. Not many people in my family choose to get out of bed before Noon. The ones that do, do so because they have to. Strangely, cigarette smoking and alcoholism seems to run in my family as well, yet neither of those two maladies has affected me. Diabetes also runs in he family though, so I guess that evens things out.

jayabee52 2012-02-29 16:50:35 -0600 Report

For me participating on DC is addictive! LoL! On here most every day and some days for 10 or 12 hrs straight (except for "pit stops" for bath and food/drink.

diabetesfree 2012-02-29 17:11:06 -0600 Report

I am often at the opposite end of the spectrum. There are days when I just feel too lazy to think, let alone type! That often happens when my blood glucose is too high, strangely enough!

flipmom 2012-02-29 12:35:11 -0600 Report

never smokes and drink.. So my downfall is comfort foods which always consist of rice on the side and all kinds of sweet treat! I'm fighting this everyday!

pixsidust 2012-02-29 11:33:30 -0600 Report

Your number one and two should be on the same line.
I personally even in my wild child days did not drink or smoke
but see those ailments destroying others.

My weakness is pasta. Honestly I blame my lack of control in that area,
eating almost no variety for my diabetes. That is not the case with most people so I want no feathers ruffled. Its my personal and honest inventory of myself

Young1s 2012-02-29 11:52:16 -0600 Report

They do go hand in hand for most people. I know the more I drank the more cigarettes I wanted.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-03-01 10:46:17 -0600 Report

My downfall on my cruise vacations are frozen strawberry margaritas and a good Cuban Cigar which I pick up on one of the islands. I don't party at home anymore. I find the clubs too dangerous and they are geared towards young people and too many of them don't know how to have good clean fun without getting angry over nothing. I found out that Crystal Light makes Strawberry and Lime Margarita mix and Mojita so all I have to do is add a little Tequila or Rum. Can't wait for the summer to see if I can make them frozen.

Young1s 2012-03-01 15:02:06 -0600 Report

Never liked the night club scene either. Tried it a couple of times but decided it wasn't my thing. It still trips me out to here of women who enjoy smoking cigars. Tried one once and it was awful. I guess it wasn't a "good" one. LOL!

Young1s 2012-02-29 11:30:26 -0600 Report

Been working on holding my alcohol addiction at bay with great success. My next challenge is to do the same with cigarettes.

pixsidust 2012-03-04 19:44:29 -0600 Report

You have a fan club in me!

diabetesfree 2012-02-29 15:21:57 -0600 Report

It seems like for most of the people I have known that both drank and smoked cigarettes, giving up smoking was the more difficult of the two. I'm guessing that's because cigarettes are actually designed by the manufacturers to be addictive, while alcohol is just naturally addictive due to its effects. I feel extremely fortunate that I never took up smoking cigarettes on a regular basis.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-03-01 11:06:27 -0600 Report

diabestesfree, I think anything whether it is food, gambling, TV, that becomes addictive can be difficult to give up. You get a high from these things and over time your mind and body wants these things. Giving them up can cause withdrawal symptoms.

jayabee52 2012-03-01 11:17:32 -0600 Report

I was addicted to coffee/caffeine in college! When I stopped it cold turkey for a weekend, what a headache! LoL!

Young1s 2012-02-29 15:35:15 -0600 Report

Yes you are. It's an ugly habit to keep and hard to break. Luckily none of my children have picked up the habit and I hope they never do.

Caroltoo 2012-02-29 07:09:09 -0600 Report

Any of the substances you listed can affect the chemicals in the brain and create "good" feelings. In the addictive process, you body comes to need the chemicals to achieve a situation in which it feels "normal" and even more to feel "good". This is why we do more and more of whatever the addiction is.

From a perspective of the ability to maintain life, food is the only item listed that is necessary. The others are needs/wants. A person can STOP drinking or smoking. It's painful and difficult, but you can live without those chemicals. None of us can STOP eating; we can learn to moderate our choices, avoid some foods and eat others, but we can't simply stop like one can with smoking or drinking. This makes food addictions of any type the most difficult to deal with for the simple reason that you HAVE to actually deal with the addictive process, not just remove yourself from it and refuse to interact.

Also, for many, food addictions come from totally unrelated issues such as abuse experienced in the past and ignored but not resolved in the present. Eating becomes a way of filling in the emptiness within or of control of pain/memories/fear. We eat for many reasons that have nothing to do with food. For many, these are the issues that must be grappled with before they can successfully deal with eating in a healthy manner.

The bottom line on this is that we have to eat to live; so we have to learn to eat in a healthy manner to be able to live a healthy life.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-02-29 06:16:58 -0600 Report

For me it used to be "comfort food" I usually didn't overdo it, but a bag if cheetos, or a creamy filled long john once in a while seemed to make me feel better! Now I carry sugar free hard candy and gum to satisfy me!

diabetesfree 2012-02-29 05:36:21 -0600 Report

I never smoked cigarettes regularly, but I did used to smoke cigars pretty frequently prior to having diabetes. The cigar habit didn't seem too painful to break. Besides, it was a very expensive habit! Same with alcohol. I can't say as I ever felt any type of physical or mental addiction to it. Going cold turkey was never a problem with either of these. Chocolate seems to be my own, greatest weakness. Milk chocolate bars, chocolate milk, chocolate milk shakes, chocolate ice cream, cake, etc. is something I have a very difficult time resisting, for whatever reason. Pure milk chocolate gives me an almost morphine like high that simply isn't provided by any other edible or drinkable substance. I am pretty sure that it is the instant rush of endorphins that is responsible. Seems strange that it is so addictive to me, but I guess we each have our own weaknesses.

Bamberg 2012-02-29 05:20:39 -0600 Report

Cigarettes, to be sure. Everyone is different but if I had one cigarette I would be smoking a pack a day by the end of the week.

JSJB 2012-02-29 05:09:29 -0600 Report

You should have 7. All of the above:). Which is what it was for me but the most addictive for me was Chocolate which I recently gave up because of this condition. I could eat a bag of Reecy cups a day, which probobly helped create my problem. Now I have 2 pieces of dark chocolate 90% cocoa beans. Gave up diet soda, stopped smoking 30 years ago and sticking to my diet.

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