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An October 2003 issue of “Brain Briefings” from the Society for Neuroscience suggested that "some brain actions and characteristics associated with the intake of sweets and drug addiction may overlap," chiefly in the area of the brain’s opioid receptors.
The article suggested that sweets may activate a similar biochemical system of incentives and rewards that leads to addiction of substances like heroin and other opiates in the brain. This conclusion comes mostly from animal tests in which certain compounds that block opioid activity made it easier for some test subjects to reject sweets despite having developed some dependence on them.
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The article notes that, more than treating some hypothesized form of sugar dependence, these findings actually offer up more hope for people suffering from eating disorders that involve binge eating, such as bulimia, since it is common for those sufferers to binge on sugar-heavy foods.