Scott McCann of the website AnonymousOne relates the stories of a couple of very serious food addiction cases personally observed by him. The first: A man of 50 went into rehab to rid himself of addictions to two different hard drugs. Apparently, this man had tried before to shake off the twin monkeys from his back, and knew what to expect from himself. Unlike most people who undertake residential treatment programs, he brought along clothes in three different sizes.
After a few weeks in the home and being ‘clean’ of narcotics, his eating and other habits began to change dramatically. His food intake increased. Especially fast foods and wheat products. He became very lethargic, slovenly, barely making it to work. His food bill became so high; he had difficulties meeting his rent payment in a timely manner… Towards the end, he was walking around the house in a daze and in a blackout, going to the refrigerator almost hourly throughout the night.
Fellow residents realized that something was wrong, but this was some years ago, at a time when awareness was not so high and food addiction was not the obvious answer. Anyway, the guy got back on speed, and gave up trying for recovery.
The second case history McCann cites is that of a man who successfully kicked a narcotics addiction, only to fall prey to food addiction. The writer says:
Over a rather short period, his eating habits changed. His roommates reported he was sitting around the house with a loaf of white bread or a box of Wheaties under his arm eating by the fistful. He became lethargic and less attentive at work. One day in the office his shirt separated from his pants and I noticed stretch marks on his stomach similar to those observed on a recently pregnant woman. He later relapsed on heroin and lived in a sewer pipe near Mexico for 18 months.
Fortunately, this fellow eventually got his life back. AnonymousOne is all about recovery, from whatever it is that a person needs to unhook from. The nonprofit organization has been around for nearly 15 years and has fans in more than 100 countries.
Earlier this month, the group staged its 9th Annual Freedom Festival, which helps to subsidize recovery homes in California. The event, featuring jazz and blues, was billed as “Long Beach’s Original Clean & Sober Outdoor Concert.” Sorry to have missed it? Make plans now for the 26th Musicians’ Picnic on October 14, 2012.
But wait — isn’t this supposed to be about childhood obesity? Of course it is. And these grownup resources and activities are all the more important for that very reason. Many people who are in recovery now, living sane and productive lives, have children. Those kids’ lives are very different from what they would have been, had their parents still been addicts. Many people who are currently addicts will have children at some point. Things will go much better for those kids if their future parents can find the help they need right now.
We know that bad habits run in families. A susceptibility to substance abuse and addiction seems to run in families too. The more we know about and support meaningful treatment for adults, the more kids will be protected from future bad consequences.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!