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Coffee dependence

1. 1. Background Coffee is one of the most famous beverages. It has powerful aroma and great taste. However, it contains caffeine which is an addictive drug as well. The Encyclopedia Britannica(2006) was three definitions for coffee: the tropical evergreen shrub of the genus Coffea, in the madder family, its seeds, called beans; also the beverage made by brewing the roasted and ground beans with water. Coffee is consumed in large part not simply because of its aroma and taste, but due to the effects of its caffeine.

According to researchers of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 80-90 percents of adults in North American drink coffee every day and only half cup of brewed coffee can make coffee drinker be addicted. This should alert us to the severity of coffee addiction. . 1. 2. Purpose and Scope This report intends to describe how coffee is processed, to explain coffee addiction and caffeine is, to describe the effects of coffee addiction, and the various symptoms of coffee withdrawal. However, the scope of this report is limited to the physical and emotional effects of addiction, and withdrawal because of the limited time given.

This report firstly explains coffee addiction and caffeine, secondly, describe effects of coffee addiction, and follow by explanations of the withdrawal symptoms. 2. Finding 2. 1. Coffee addiction and caffeine 2. 1. 1. Process of addiction a. Definition of addiction is a dependence on substance that a person is powerless to stop. The causative substance of coffee addiction is caffeine. b. Chemically speaking, pure caffeine is a plant-based alkaloid which stimulates the central nervous system of any creature that ingests it. Coffee beans contain a significant amount of caffeine.

c . An article posted on Answer. com-home page(2007) stated, 1 cup of brewed coffee contains 135mg caffeine. One caffeine tablet (Vivarin), drug, contains 200mg, and an Excedrin tablet contains 65mg caffeine. Coffee addicts may think that they don’t drink enough coffee to become addicted to it, but most of them already are. Careful research directed by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that low to moderate caffeine intake (as little as one 14-ounce mug per day) can quickly produce coffee addiction.

Caffeine affects the body just like any drug. Coffee drinkers consume coffee slowly and little by little, and during the time their body grows a tolerance to it, they need more and more to feel the same effects. Eventually, their body is unable to do without it, so they have become coffee addicts. 2. 1. 2. Perils of caffeine a. An acute over dose of caffeine, usually in excess of 250 milligrams (more than 2-3 cups of brewed coffee), can result in over stimulation of central nervous system, a condition called caffeine intoxication. (Answer. com, 2007) b. Holmgren, P, Norden-Pettersson L, Ahlner J (2004) noted

in cases of extreme overdose, death can result. The median lethal dose (LD50) of caffeine is 192 milligrams per kilo in rats. The LD50 of caffeine is dependent on weight and individual sensitivity and estimated to be about 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass, roughly 140 to 180 cups of coffee for an average adult taken within a limited timeframe that is dependent on half-life. Though achieving lethal dose of caffeine would be exceptionally difficult with regular coffee, there have been reported deaths from overdosing on caffeine pills. 2. 2. Effects of coffee addiction

2. 2. 1. Caffeinism Caffeinism is a toxic condition marked by diarrhea, elevated blood pressure, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and insomnia, caused by excessive ingestion of coffee, according to Stephen Cherniske (2003) in his book “Caffeine Blues”. Caffeinism can cause mental disorders, such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or even schizophrenia. A Study published in the British Journal of Addiction (2006) concluded that “caffeinism, although infrequently diagnosed, may afflict as many as one person in ten of the population.

” 2. 2. 2. Coffee dependence This is a kind of physical dependence which is characterized by increased tolerance of a drug combined with a physical need of the drug to function. For instance, some people tend it difficult to do their work without at least one cup of strong coffee in the morning. Micheal Pollick (2007) notes that “the stimulating effects of caffeine are caused by a central nervous reaction. The heart rate increases, blood vessels expand and the brain receives more oxygen. This effect can last up to an hour. ” 2. 2. 3. Fatigues

Most of coffee addicts drink coffee for stimulation and solution for their tiredness. However, the cause of coffee addict’s fatigues is the ingestion of caffeine with coffee. According to an article in Natural Medicine by Joseph E Pizzorno and Michael T Murray (2005), regular caffeine intake may actually result in chronic fatigue although acute caffeine consumption provides stimulation. They maintain that “while mice fed one dose of caffeine demonstrated significant increases in their swimming capacity, when the dose of caffeine was given for 6 weeks, a significant decrease in swimming capacity was observed.

” 2. 3. Withdrawal symptoms 2. 3. 1. Sign and symptoms When coffee addicts quit the intake of coffee, they will encounter many symptoms of withdrawal similar to those experienced by addicts of substances like alcohol and nicotine. According to researchers of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, blind experimental studies in healthy normal caffeine consumers who abstain for 24 hours indicate that the incidence of withdrawal headache is about 50%. When all withdrawal symptoms are considered, the incidence of caffeine withdrawal is higher.

In a population-based random digit dial telephone survey study, 40 to 70% of individuals who tried to quit caffeine use reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Significant caffeine withdrawal has been shown to occur after abstinence from a dose as low as 100 mg/day, which is the caffeine equivalent of one 6 oz. cup of brewed coffee. In many studies, the symptoms of completely abstaining from caffeine can be dramatic. Some individuals are so impaired by the headache or other symptoms they cannot go work and even cannot handle their every day life. a.

Physical symptom ? Headache – These headaches are caused by excess blood collecting in the area around the brain and sinus cavities. Without the stimulation provided by caffeine, the blood vessels shrink, restricting the flow of blood. The traditional cure for caffeine withdrawal is to ingest more caffeine. This is also why many headache medications contain small amounts of caffeine. (Pollick, 2007) ? Fatigue – tiredness, lethargy, sluggishness ? Sleepiness/drowsiness – sleepy, drowsy, yawning ? Flu-like symptoms – These symptoms have many different signs.

For instance, nausea/vomiting, muscle aches/stiffness, hot and cold spells, and heavy feelings in arms or legs. b. Emotional symptoms ? Difficulty concentrating – muzzy ? Work difficulty – decreased motivation for tasks/work ? Irritability – irritable, cross, miserable, decreased well-being/ contentedness • ? Depression – depressed mood ? Anxiety – anxious, nervous 3. Conclusion To summarize, an enormous number of people, 80-90 percent of adults in North America, is addicted to coffee which contains significant amount of caffeine.

This is because caffeine is a toxic substance, and caffeine intoxication and even death can result in case of over dose. Caffeinism, coffee dependence, and fatigue are serious negative effects of coffee addiction, and when coffee addicts quit drinking the beverage, they will encounter many symptoms of withdrawal. Yet, surprisingly, the caffeine is not listed as an addictive drug by WHO (World Health Organization). That is the reason why it is easily found in many everyday products such as coffee, tea, sweets, biscuits and carbonate drinks without any warning and most people do not even think of caffeine as a drug.

Consequently, there is great need for more research and studies into the negative effects of caffeine to create great awareness of the dangers and to prompt the introduction of restrictive legislation. A huge number of people around the world consume coffee and they are in danger. They must be given a good enough reason to stop their coffee consumption or cut down to safer levels of caffeine intake. 4. Reference Internet Encyclopedia Britannica(2007), Coffee. Retrieved February 8, 2007 from web site:http://www. britannica. com/eb/article-9106003/coffee Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine(2003), Information about caffeine dependence.

Retrieved February 13, 2007 from web site: http://www. caffeinedependence. org/caffeine_dependence. html Answer. com(2007), Caffeine addiction. Retrieved February 8, 2007 from web site: http://www. answers. com/what%20caffeine%20addiction%20is Holmgren, P, Norden-Pettersson L, Ahlner J (2004), Caffeine fatalities four case reports. Retrieved February 8, 2007 from web site: http://www. answers. com/what%20caffeine%20addiction%20is Dani Veracity(2005), The hidden dangerous of caffeine: how coffee causes exhaustion, fatigue and addiction. Retrieved February 8, 2007 from web site: http://www. newstarget. com/012352. html

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