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Chewing Gum Addiction: Is it for Real?

For anyone who has ever attended a drug rehab program for dangerous substances like heroin or meth addiction, it’s difficult to imagine that a person could ever become addicted to something as inane as chewing gum. In fact, to many people the suggestion of such a notion is laughable. However, there is some evidence to suggest that chewing gum containing sugar could be habit forming in the same way that other sugars are. Additionally, psychological addictions can be formed to nearly anything, and apparently this stretches to chewing gum as well.

If you or a loved one has ever suffered from addiction or alcoholism, it can be disconcerting to hear about the so-called modern era of addiction, where people have been accused of or self-proclaimed themselves as being addicted to everything from the internet to water. That’s right – some people have reportedly become addicted to drinking water, and there’s even a name for them: Aquaholics. (1) So really, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that some people claim to be addicted to chewing gum.

Chewing gum addiction is widely reported on the web, with helpless users posting in forums about their insatiable desire to constantly chew gum. Some of them report chewing 6 or even 8 packs of gum every day. They do this at serious risk of their teeth, gums, and jaw, and people who chew gum obsessively are much more likely to develop TMJ or Temporomadibular Joint Disorder, a painful disease that can prevent a person from being able to chew at all. (2)

But while a supposed chewing gum addiction would never lead to death, disease, destruction of families or imprisonment like drug addiction does, there are some striking similarities. For instance, many people report obsessively chewing gum as a distraction method, as a social or nervous fixation, as a concentration method, and just out of sheer boredom. For those with the most severe problem, the dentist chair is the end of the road.

It should be pointed out that – in theory – it’s possible to become addicted to literally anything because of the way addictions are created as part of neurological processes. When things feel good and we repeat them, the potential for addiction exists. However, when it comes to drug addiction or alcoholism, the effects just can’t be compared to lesser addictions or compulsions. This is because while chewing gum “addiction” can cause a person to go out and chew all kinds of gum, heroin addiction can cause a person to go out and kill someone.

This is precisely why there’s such a thing as Drug Rehab, and not Gum Rehab.

If you or someone you love has a substance abuse issue and you need drug addiction treatment, then call the number at the top of your screen right now. We understand just how serious this problem is, and we’re widely considered to be one of the most successful treatment centers in the US. Don’t wait – take action, change a life; call us now.

(1) DailyMail.co.UK Aquaholics: Addicted to Drinking Water

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of p...