If you’re highly susceptible to food addiction, does that make you more likely to get addicted to other things? What if you’ve been exposed to other substances, like cigarettes or alcohol, but never got addicted? Why would that be? Science has good answers to these questions. Cross-addiction is an interesting phenomenon. Learn all about it in this week’s VLOG.

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  1. Karen

    Thanks that was very good explanation..

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  2. Andrea

    Love learning the science of how these addictions “work”, it helps a lot!

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  3. Kathryn

    Question – How can we fill those unattached dopamine receptors with the “right” things so that we are not vulnerable to another addiction?
    Thanks in advance. This was very helpful to hear what actually happens in the body. Bless you.

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  4. Kate

    Thanks Susan! I have always wondered why I could take or leave smoking cigarettes — my smoker-in-recovery friends and my husband have been jealous of my ability to have one or two, once in a while — when they absolutely can’t. But I sure wish I could take or leave sugar and flour! And I clearly can’t. This vlog helped clarify this issue for me and is helping me inch closer to enrolling in a boot camp. Thanks!

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  5. Valerie

    I would like to add my observations to two aspects discussed in Susan’s excellent vlog: (1) reward, and (2) triggers.
    (1) Reward – Up until the past year, I was chubby for 95% of my life (I am 56 now). In my teen years, I yearned for what I perceived to be the romance of alcoholism and drug use as a replacement for my food addiction. However, every time I drank or used drugs, I hated how it made me feel. I much prefer “being myself” so there was no reward for me in these behaviours. Today I force myself to drink the occasional glass of wine or cocktail on social occasions, but I never have more than one.
    (2) Triggers – In my early 20s, I spent a year and a half travelling through Saharan, sub-Saharan and central Africa. As self-protection for a young woman alone, I smoked … a lot. These were cheap, strong, filterless cigarettes. When I returned to Canada, I never smoked again. The triggers were completely absent. I have heard the same about veterans returning to the U.S. who had been heroin addicts in VietNam, and quit easily once they got home.

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  6. Konstantina Kalpakidou

    This is a real AHA moment …for the first time in a lifetime I understand WHY I tend NOT to be able to get rid of addictive behavior… food – lots of it, has been replaced by shopping and overindulging other things in general. Now I do understand that I would have to get rid of the triggers, and why I crave certain foods in certain periods of my life. But this is the thing: how to get rid of “triggers”…

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  7. Eldred

    Ah, if only I could get addicted to healthy eating and exercise instead of sugar and fast food… Any ideas on how to do that?

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  8. Patricia

    I’m having a hard time staying on my so called diet. Went to see a naturopathic doctor and am very sensitive to all grains, nuts, sugar, dairy, eggs, tomatoes, corn, and need to stay away from gmo’s and oils except cold pressed. (good) and am limited on fruit and vegetables as well. Makes it hard and boring to eat. And I hate cooking. I still have cravings, but end up in pain and suffer when I cheat. I have ulcerative colitis. Miss bread and sugar a lot. But can’t even make substitutes because of the egg and dairy limitations. The gum additives in almond milk and coconut milk also is a problem for me. 🙁

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  9. Maria

    Great insight, Thank you Susan! As we were reading through Bright Line Eating, my husband and I were wondering this exact question. On average, what is the timeframe it takes to restore the downregulation of dopamine receptors to a normal state?

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  10. Stephanie

    Thank you! You are making a difference in my life. Is it not amazing how understanding a topic and applying self-awareness makes such a difference? I wrote the word Volition on my mirror. Hope this does not have any strange words in it as I am typing on my tablet and I cannot turn off autocorrect. Talk about having no control!

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  11. Nance

    This is a topic I’ve been wondering about and the timing is perfect. Thanks for taking the time to do these weekly blogs!

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  12. Ellen

    Thank you. I lost 80 lbs. in FA in 10 months. I felt great. I had a beer at a party, then one lead to another and 12 yrs. later I had gained the 80 lbs. back plus. The BLE has been so helpful. I loved the boot camp and all of the blogs, helps put things into perspective and get back on track, one day at a time.

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  13. Garry Montgomery

    Apart from the opening eye roll and shoulder shrug (which has become your trademark!) a great video. Clear, concise and well-delivered without all of the ahs, ums, likes . . .

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  14. Dianne

    Great information. Thank you.

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  15. Toni Whitmont

    So interesting – thank you. I have been wondering about this myself with my own patterns of addiction.

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  16. Anne

    Thanks Susan,

    Excellent information on cross addiction. Thank you for all of your great info and encouragement!!!

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  17. Sue

    I LOVE your vlog! It always teaches me something and gets me thinking. As I was listening this week it got me thinking about my son’s OCD. I am new to this diagnosis so I don’t know much yet, but to me it seems like his OCD is an addiction to a thought process. I’m going to have to educate myself about so many things. Again, love the work you do keep it up!

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  18. Jill Czajkowski

    that was absolutely amazing, and extraordinarily timely for me. My OA sponsor shared this link with me, and I also had it in my e-mail. I haven’t really listened or paid attention before. I’ve been white knuckling. This was really, really helpful.

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  19. Janet

    wow. yes. I had also been wondering, but it makes sense now. I will never be addicted to gambling because I am way too cheap (frugal!), or to alcohol (alcoholic parents and one ex hubby who died from it) but have a hard time not binging when I have my grandkids over. So there’s the trigger, but I cannot (do not want to) live without my grandkids – so I can’t put a bright line there. Have to work on changing that trigger. I will watch for suggestions how to do that.

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  20. Alla

    Great vlog!! But how do you upregulate your dopamine receptors

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  21. PETRA

    What a delight to listen to you! Very informative and helpful . Thank you.

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  22. Lynda Hahn

    So very informative, excellent information

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  23. Ky

    This was extremely helpful! Thank you. I second Serene’s question, “how do we avoid this switching addictions for the hit?” I’m in a period of a LOT of stress in my life and read “junk books” every night when I go to bed until my eyes close – WAY too late (it’s like an escape from life), and it keeps me from getting the sleep I really, really need. It’s a deeply ingrained habit that feels out-of-control, like an addiction. I’ve done it for many years and have tried to stop various times and never been successful. And, it’s really hard to even fall asleep without reading at this point. Is it a bright line thing – like I should not read “junk books” at all? And, if I ever did succeed in breaking that addiction, how do I prevent switching to another “escape from life” hit addiction?

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  24. Margaret

    You looking very fresh today….great topic and well explained…thank you

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  25. Anna Falkiner

    Yes, yes, yes! I relate to so much of what you have to say. Selective addiction -alcohol, shopping and food, OCD. ✔✔✔. Other addictions have never turned on “That” particular pleasure centre in my brain.
    I instinctively knew that alcohol could become a problem . So I guess my weird brain resorted to food as comfort as a child because I was afraid of drinking. (Mother was alcoholic) When I took on employment with P&O in my 40’s on board the ships , I went through a period of ‘needing to escape’, and it was too easy to do it in booze. Sigh! And then came shopping! That needy place in my brain looking for comfort and the quick fix . Someone I knew once called it trying to ” fill a hole in the sole”.

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  26. Serene

    Interesting and helpful! When I removed wheat from the diet of one of my children, she almost immediately turned to white rice which she had previously rejected. So that hit was probably what she was looking for. The question then is : how can we avoid this switching around for the hit? Just say NO?

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  27. Allison Folger

    Thank you so much,!!

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  28. Allison Folger

    Thank you! Since I’ve given up sugar, gluten, soy, dairy, and trying to heal from adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto’s, I’ve at times craved varieties of crunchy salty foods. I’m concerned of getting addicted to another food because I can’t eat (I choose not to eat) those things. Thank you for sharing so openly why this could be happening.

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  29. Joyce

    I broke my pelvis in a skiing accident a few years ago. I was taking large doses of oxycodone and OxyContin. I have often wondered if I didn’t get addicted because taking those drugs was associated with such pain. There was definitely no pleasure there! I cut them back gradually as I began to heal. But the first 2 days when I was completely off them my body just ached everywhere – I think even my hair and fingernails hurt.

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  30. Sandy

    Very interesting. And helpful. Makes perfect sense.

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  31. Susan

    This was a great blog and sure answered my questions. My addiction is really sugar and for a good reason as I was rewarded with it for all the wrong reasons as a child but it became my addiction, which I don’t need to get into right here. But I had a mother, uncle, grandfather and brother who were all alcoholics and I was always grateful that I didn’t become one and don’t really drink any more and haven’t since I was 20 but even then didn’t have trouble stopping and I felt quite smug about it, but then one day as I was entering a store some 20 years ago to buy my candy, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was no better than the alcoholics because I was just as strongly a sugar addict. I stopped judging them, and myself. Now because of your video I know the moment sugar became a problem to me and why it got triggered. Your video was a great eye opener and I loved it. Thank you much.

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  32. Nathalie

    Wow what a great informative video…

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