April 25, 2008, Newsletter Issue #157: Do You Suffer From Coffee Addiction?

Tip of the Week

If you have a compulsive need for coffee, have built up a tolerance to it and suffer from headaches or difficulty concentrating when you cut back or cut out your coffee consumption, you could have a coffee addiction.

Caffeine is a stimulant and it is the most widely used behaviorally active drug in the world, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Behavioral Biology Research Center . In North America, 80 percent to 90 percent of adults report regular use of caffeine and consume about one to two mugs of coffee or three to five bottles of soft drink per day.

Overuse of caffeine use can be associated with caffeine intoxication, caffeine withdrawal, caffeine dependence, caffeine-induced sleep disorder and caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, according to Johns Hopkins.

The John Hopkins School of Medicine set up a caffeine therapy program for people who have difficulty cutting back on their own. The program teaches participants to gradually reduce caffeine consumption over time by substituting decaffeinated or non-caffeinated products, Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, said. Using this a method allows people to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms, he said.

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