Connecting Food with Addiction: Dr. Vera Finds Cocaine and Cola Have Much in Common

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Dr. Vera Tarman, an expert in food addiction, announced the launch of her new initiative Addictions Unplugged. She will use Addictions Unplugged as her platform to spread the realities of food addiction and help people into recovery. She is scheduled to hold workshops across the globe, with her kickoff workshop being held March 26th, 2011 in Toronto, ON. For more information please visit http://www.addictionsunplugged.com.

The Addictions Unplugged website serves as a portal and discussion forum for medical professionals, front-line addiction workers and those effected by addiction to reach out to Dr. Vera and find out the latest information on treatment.

“No one told me the sky would be bluer, music would sound better and shopping for clothes could be so much fun. It's great to walk down the street not feeling like a freak with everyone staring at me.”

At a breakfast press conference Dr. Vera Tarman – one of North America's most esteemed and widely acclaimed addiction research and treatment specialists, officially launched her new initiative called Addictions Unplugged. One of the program's main thrusts is aimed at getting the medical community, front line workers, and the general public to accept that for many North Americans sugar is just as addictive as drugs and alcohol.

As the top drug and alcohol addiction specialist at Renascent and The Salvation Army's Hostel House, Dr. Vera found that many of her clients who successfully quit drugs and alcohol had become instead fixated on food. Acting on the apparent truth that these people were trading one addiction for another, she began to investigate the science behind the phenomenon. Among her findings were that cocaine-addicted lab rats in carefully conducted clinical studies who were presented with their drug of choice and an sweetener used as a control, surprised scientists when they soon traded cocaine addiction for addiction to the sweetener.

Looking closely at the human brain's lymbic system – our middle brain that contains our 'reward centre,' Dr. Vera found that three 'feel good' brain chemicals were boosted as much by white sugar as they were by narcotics in many test subjects. Serotonin, dopamine and endorphin, the three major neurochemicals involved in addiction, also dropped when sugar and starch were removed from test subjects' diets, and they soon began to exhibit classic withdrawal symptoms, namely extreme irritability, tremors, fever and diarrhea.

Under her recommendations, Dr. Vera's obese and bulimic clients lost their food cravings after only three to four weeks. One person, who preferred remain anonymous as per the ethics of the acclaimed 12 steps, said “No one told me the sky would be bluer, music would sound better and shopping for clothes could be so much fun. It's great to walk down the street not feeling like a freak with everyone staring at me.”

Dr. Vera is supporting the launch of Addictions Unplugged with a series of workshops, starting with her first at University of Toronto's Innes Town Hall on March 26th. After the Toronto stop she then will travel to New York, New York, and then to Reykjavik, Iceland to spread the word about food addiction.

To register for Dr. Vera's upcoming March 26th food addiction workshop in Toronto, ON or to find more information on Dr. Vera's please visit the newly revamped Addictions Unplugged website at http://www.addictionsunplugged.com.

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Jason Principe
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