Is Chocolate a Drug?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Main Blog | 2 comments

At this time of year when many people give up something for Lent, chocolate is often one of the things that they relinquish. I did this a few years ago and I found it to be one tough challenge. I craved chocolate each day, but those feelings did eventually subside and after Lent I felt quite indifferent to eating chocolate again. When I did finally have some, it didn’t take long for the desire for chocolate every day, to return.

So my question is: Is chocolate a drug?

This is a question I ask during some of my training sessions and I love the debate that comes with it. Here is my take on that answer. Chocolate can be thought to be a drug because:

  • The sugar it is cut with gives an energy boost, similar to the feelings of having more energy, given by stimulant drugs;
  • The caffeine and the bromine content produce a mildly stimulating effect, which is also felt by other stimulant drugs; (caffeine is  a drug)
  • Chocolate tastes good and the experience of eating it makes the brain release natural feel good endorphins, similar to the feelings created by some drugs;
  • Many people say they have been bingeing on chocolate and are addicted to it;
  • Chronic chocolate use is associated with health problems (as is substance misuse);
  • Chocolate is now a banned substance in many schools.

I have highlighted the words and phrases which are often associated with substance misuse, to indicate why chocolate is sometimes perceived to be a drug.


  1. Hi Mel, I’d agree that chocolate is a type of drug but I always try to justify my dependence on it with a little extra effort in my weekly exercise classes!…..Butterflies and chocolate two of my favourite things…

  2. Hi Kyife, thank you for your comment. I think many people would agree with you that chocolate is a type of drug to them and that they feel they have a dependence. When we consider the ‘things’ that we find difficult to stop using or activities we find difficult to stop doing, it can help us to understand that there are many different reasons that people use and/or misuse substances.

    (I like butterflies too!)

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