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Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by Gin0710, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Gin0710

    Gin0710 Active Contributor

    Can coffee be considered a substance to get addicted to? I know it's not some cases it's more harmful to go without it. Do you think it can cause harm though?
  2. rabst

    rabst Active Contributor


    First, remember the definition of addiction: "compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal" (so you can see how ANYTHING can become an addiction, though Merriam-Webster also mentions that addiction is broadly defined as 'use of a substance which the user knows to be harmful').

    An Oklahoma Gazette article I remember (maybe this one) said- or made me find somebody who said-that the limit for 'moderation's sake' was 5 cups a day. Any more, & your sleep-pattern goes out of sync with ... reality, and you become irritable & stuff.

    I had been living alone for a long time, and was recently forced to move back to my mom's house. And she noticed that--on nights when I had had coffee around 9 pm or later (which I had taken to doing when a friend told me that SHE had to drink coffee to GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT)--I would have such terrible dreams (or something) that I would start SCREAMING in my sleep! So now I get my 4-or-5 cups in before 5 p.m.!
    Joseph and kearns like this.
  3. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    Yes, I really do believe that the caffeine in coffee can be become an addiction for some individuals. I think the biggest concern is that at a certain point, they may no longer get the same "pick me up" they used to get from their afternoon coffee breaks and move on to stimulant drugs or substances.
    rabst likes this.
  4. calebmelvern

    calebmelvern Member

    What's quite puzzling is the different information about the advantages and disadvantages of drinking too much coffee. I have read articles saying drinking 5 cups a days is just fine and it helps cleanse the body. I have also read drinking the same amount can be detrimental to one's health.

    In my case, I limit myself to a maximum of 2 cups per day. Usually, I just drink one cup in the morning.
    rabst likes this.
  5. jurew2

    jurew2 Member

    I would say that coffee can become addicting for someone who drinks it all the time. I know some people that drink coffe a lot and they drink it always when they wake up, they don't want to go on with their life that day without coffee. I don't know if this is an addiction or just some kind of habbit they developed over the years of drinking coffee.
    rabst likes this.
  6. Gin0710

    Gin0710 Active Contributor

    Yeah I always get confused on health reports. First they say it's bad for you, then they say it's good for you. Which is it? I guess people just need to know their limit even with coffee. I know if I drink too much of it I get the shakes. I usually limit myself to one a day or if I'm broke, two a week.
    rabst likes this.
  7. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Did you know that 'caffeine intoxication' is now an officially recognized mental illness according to the US psychiatric diagnostic manual?! It's also possible to have a caffeine overdose!

    I have heard that coffee can be beneficial and can help prevent bowel cancer. However, I've also heard that too much is bad for the heart. Yes, caffeine a drug just like nicotine or alcohol and yes, it can be addictive.

    Personally, I found that drinking too much coffee makes me feel more tense, uptight and anxious and I get stressed out more easily - that's why I stopped drinking it and I feel much better since.
    dejanee22, rabst and Joseph like this.
  8. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    Interesting! I had not heard of that before.

    I agree with you and others that there are often conflicting reports on the benefits of coffee and the hazards of coffee. Sometimes a story in the media will provide a summary of recent medical study findings and proclaim coffee to be helpful and other times studies will be presented that show coffee to be harmful. I have witnessed the same with red wine and chocolate. I guess moderation is key.
    rabst likes this.
  9. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Yep, I've heard the same conflicting opinions about red wine and chocolate also... and, of course, according to certain reports the chocolate and coffee trades both involve a lot of forced manual child labor/slavery - it's something that I've previously written about.
    rabst likes this.
  10. Gin0710

    Gin0710 Active Contributor

    I think one cup a day is okay for a limit. Just try to get enough sleep so you won't need it during the day. I guess that's my only suggestion.
    rabst likes this.
  11. Ronsa

    Ronsa Active Contributor

    Coffee can be addicted if you are getting used to it everyday. It is difficult to get rid of it because you remain sleepy the whole morning if without "that cup of coffee". The harmful effects of coffee include the possible cause of hear diseases, prolong sleepiness and getting too much dependence for coffee.
    rabst likes this.
  12. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Yep, I have to agree that people can indeed become dependent on coffee/caffeine. I remember when I as first tried to give up I felt tired and sleepy every day and my brain just wouldn't function properly without that first cup of coffee in the morning. Even if I only had just the one cup of coffee it would make me up for the rest of the day. Yes, coffee can also increase the likelihood of developing heart problems and can increase anxiety.
    rabst likes this.
  13. rabst

    rabst Active Contributor

    Sleep yes, and excercise.

    I guess it's another reminder that our bodies are machines that operate by chemical reactions from these flesh-bags attached to the machines (our stomachs, hearts, brains, fatty deposits, etc.) We grow accustomed to the formulae we enjoy most-frequently.

    The definition of an addiction is 'the fact that your body reacts badly when you STOP using the otherwise-unnecessary substance' (we could say we're addicted to food & air, but those are necessary for life!)

    I bet the best way to protect oneself against caffeine-addiction is to realize what caffeine does: stimulates the central nervous system into producing a chemical that calls one to focus.
  14. La.oui

    La.oui Member

    Although I do agree that increased coffee intake can lead to dependence, I'd just like to clarify that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychological Association does not list intoxication or abuse as a mental disorder.

    Here is a link to my source: Use Disorder Fact Sheet.pdf

    I think we should keep in mind that there is a difference between addiction and dependence and that the latter can actually be a normative reaction of the body to a substance. In the case of caffeine, the reason as to why people would be needing to take more caffeine to get their usual buzz is because we develop caffeine tolerance. This is what leads to the so-called addictive behavior of increasing and continued intake.

    On the other hand, we do have to take note that this much intake of caffeine still can lead to sleeping disorders and an abrupt stop of use can cause withdrawal symptoms similar to those of other drugs.
    rabst likes this.
  15. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    This doesn't say anything about caffeine intoxication not being a mental disorder, it only mentions subtance abuse, dependence and addiction, not intoxication and says that the definition of substance abuse disorders have been changed to not include caffeine. I know it was added to the DSM IV though I don't know if it's been changed in DSM V, which is itself a psychiatric manual.

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  16. jdroc

    jdroc Active Contributor

    Four Words...........Coffee got me buzzed.....the first time I drank it not too long ago definitely altered my mind and body.
  17. sadiemarie

    sadiemarie Member

    Yes it can be considered an addiction. It can effect your sleep if you drink it too late. It isn't the healthiest but I can't go without it. I have fibromyalgia so it really helps me get through my day.
  18. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I actually know someone with Fibromyalgia and although they don't drink a great deal of coffee, when they do drink it they usually make it incredibly strong, especially first thing when they wake up. I guess it helps give them a boost for the day. However, they are also prescribed tricyclic antidepressants which, in my opinion, don't really d much to help except maybe help them sleep - I guess that's why they need such a boost in the mornings.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
    rabst likes this.
  19. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    Coffee is loaded with caffeine and caffeine, in essence, is a drug (stimulant to be exact). Caffeine is used in a large portion of pain killers and sinus medicines because it stimulates the heart to flow quicker and awaken the mind. It is a drug and it can be addictive. If you are a avid caffeine drinker and you suddenly quick, you will experience physical effects such as headaches and shakes. It is not per-say bad for you as long as you take it in moderation.... but it is a drug and does effect your physical well being if over used.
    rabst likes this.
  20. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    I was actually thinking of this thread today because I didn't get my morning cup of coffee and I was really upset about it. I then decided to skip a meeting just to walk to my favorite coffee place. When I did this and realized how desperate I was feeling and it kind of shocked me into thinking "wait, am I addicted to coffee?!" I am going to try and taper back at least my afternoon cups.
    dejanee22, Gin0710 and rabst like this.