How do you know if you are 'addicted' to coffee?

Are you sure you could drop the coffee? This drink is one of the most popular in the world, for some people it seems unthinkable to start the day without that steaming cup of caffeine that is considered the only accepted drug on the entire planet.

Due to caffeine, its active substance, coffee has been studied to find out if an addiction can be generated, the conclusions indicate that it is not possible, since its consumption does not represent a threat and in moderate amounts it even represents various health benefits.

In the article Is caffeine addictive?published in 1998, describes caffeine as “the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world”, consumed in quantities large enough to have a effect on the brainit affects the same parts of the brain as cocainebut in different ways.

What is caffeine dependence?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse details that caffeine does not generate an addictionbut it is possible develop a dependence because this substance produces a small dopamine surgebut “it does not cause the large increase that unbalances the reward circuits in the brain and is necessary for an addiction.”

American Psychiatric Association (APA) describes that in regular drinkers “caffeine dependence can become a hard habit to break leading to full-blown substance use disorder, research has shown.” This happens because it is a powerful psychoactive compound that has effects such as:

  • Increase alertness
  • feeling of energy
  • Sense of well-being
  • It is chemically similar to the neuromodulator adenosine, which induces drowsiness, so it blocks its effects and ‘takes away’ sleep.
  • Measurably increases cognitive performance.
  • Mental health benefits: lower risk of depression.
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline.

Alan Budney, a professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School, says in an article that caffeine can act in a similar way to other drugs: “People want the effect and repeat the behavior and again. When the reinforcers since they are easily accessible and cheap, their use can get out of control.”

“If you think you can’t stop drinking coffee, you may be right,” adds the APA, since some consumers cannot stay away from this drink and present:

  • ‘Caffeine use disorder’.
  • Withdrawal syndrome after quitting.
  • Using more than intended and spending a lot of time on the drug.

Budney describes the caffeine withdrawal syndrome such as that which occurs when people skip a dose of caffeine and experience:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Concentration problems

“Research suggests that many people consume caffeine just to avoid these symptomsalthough others, especially children and adolescents, may not understand why they feel tired and have a severe headache, ”describes the APA.

How do you know if you depend on caffeine?

If you stop drinking coffee for a day and you experience withdrawal symptoms, you may be dependent on caffeine.

According to Cleveland Clinic, many people develop a caffeine tolerance: increase their consumption to achieve the effects on the nervous system, since the usual amount no longer generates them.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dictates that the appropriate dose for healthy adults is 400 milligrams of caffeine a dayequivalent to four or five cups of coffee.

How to leave the dependence on coffee?

If you want to limit caffeine consumption, you can take some of these recommendations:

  • Delay coffee consumption one hour after waking up in the morning: the body does not need a stimulant upon awakening because it naturally produces cortisol, which gives energy without the need for drink.
  • Gradually decrease the amount.
  • Increases water consumption.
  • Replace a caffeinated drink with one that does not.
  • Incorporate exercise into the daily routine.
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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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