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Alise Conrad

Mrs. Ramirez

English

29 Apr. 2019

Consequences of Caffeine Addiction

Have you ever been told that you have a caffeine addiction based off of the fact that you

don’t go a day without your morning coffee? It makes you wonder if caffeine is addictive and

what the consequences of said addiction are. Ask yourself: What are the harmful effects of

caffeine addiction? What are the symptoms of caffeine addiction? How do we classify an

addiction? Caffeine can be considered an addictive substance, which quite frankly is not

suitable for you.

Seeing as I am writing about the consequences of caffeine addiction, I figured I would

start talking about the symptoms of caffeine addictions. Caffeine can we can classify as a

stimulant drug, which will cause a bunch of symptoms that are associated with brain stimulation.

While some of these symptoms may be unpleasant, most caffeine users still enjoy the increased

energy and alertness that comes with these symptoms. Some signs of caffeine intoxication are

as follows, restlessness, nervousness, excitement, difficulty sleeping, agitation, and a rambling

flow of thoughts. Like any other drug, however, caffeine comes with withdrawal. Caffeine

withdrawal typically produces symptoms that are the opposite of intoxication, which we can

describe as a rebound effect. The most common symptom while undergoing caffeine withdrawal

is a severe and intense headache. Another common symptom is the feeling of drowsiness and

loss of concentration. Not unlike any other addiction, there are harmful effects that appear after

prolonged usage.
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Symptoms are usually harmful effects of something, but the damaging effects I’m going

to talk about are more permanent than a fleeting sign. One of the detrimental effects of caffeine

addiction is a rise in blood pressure. This effect is more likely to present itself in those with

pre-existing hypertension of those who don’t typically consume caffeine. Another harmful effect

of caffeine addiction is an increased likelihood of heart attacks, specifically in young adults.

Caffeine addictions can also cause insomnia. Unfortunately, there are no specifics for the age

group that may develop this. Caffeine addiction is also able to produce more forceful heart

contraction which can lead to more forceful heart contractions, resulting in high blood pressure

and heart attacks. While you may enjoy caffeine intoxication, keep in mind that prolonged usage

may lead to severe health conditions.

The question that probably remains is: What is an addiction? Addiction is a complex

condition or a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use although the

addictive substance is usually harmful. People with addictions have an intense focus on using

certain substances like alcohol, drugs, or even caffeine. This intense focus can get to the point

where it will take over the user’s life. These people also keep using said substances even when

they know it will cause problems. Their thinking can often get distorted. This effect is caused by

changes in a brain’s wiring that will further cause intense craving and focus on/of this

substance. The changes in your brain’s wiring are often considered harmful because it changes

how your brain functions. These changes could last a long time after the immediate effects of

the drug. Now that we know what addiction is and how it works, we can go to the next topic: Is

caffeine addictive?

So are you addicted to caffeine? The World’s caffeine obsession is a “dependency,” but

it is not an addiction. Like many drugs, caffeine enhances dopamine, signaling the brain.

Dopamine is a chemical that helps control movement, motivation, and emotions. Therefore,
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enhanced dopamine signaling makes a person feel more awake and alert. The dopamine

enhancement, however, does not cause a large enough surge to unbalance the circuits that are

necessary to be unbalanced to be considered an addiction. Since this does not occur, it is hard

to describe this chemical imbalance as an addiction. While we use the word “addiction”

casually, caffeine will not be described as addictive by the scientific community.

We talked about caffeine “addictions” or dependencies, and the side effects and or the

consequences of caffeine usage. Now that we know about the symptoms of caffeine usage, the

harmful effects, and we talked about addictions themselves, I think that the decision about what

you want to call it is purely yours. I will no longer be calling caffeine an addictive substance. I

suggest that we think about our caffeine usage and try to make the decision that we think is best

for us. As Jasmine Guinness said, “We have too many poisons in our diets now, like sugar and

caffeine.” However, the consequences of this dependency remain.


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Works Cited

Hartney, Elizabeth. “How Caffeine Addiction Can Affect Your Health.” Verywell Mind, 25 Mar.

2019, www.verywellmind.com/caffeine-addiction-4157287.

Hipps, John G., et al. "Caffeine." National Geographic, May 2005. Student Resources In

Context,

http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A132775912/SUIC?u=elcap_hs&sid=SUIC&xid=2d47

6b60. Accessed 8 Apr. 2019.

Kallmyer, Ted. “20+ Harmful Effects of Caffeine.” Caffeine Informer, 5 Dec. 2018,

www.caffeineinformer.com/harmful-effects-of-caffeine.

NIDA Blog Team. “Is Caffeine Really Addictive?” NIDA for Teens, 10 May 2016,

teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/caffeine-really-addictive.

Parekh, Ranna. "Addiction and Substance Use Disorders." What Is Addiction? Jan. 2017.

American Psychiatric Association. 09 Apr. 2019

<https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction>.