“Caffeine Use Disorder” is gaining recognition as a real condition as researchers study addiction and withdrawal symptoms associated with caffeine. It turns out the morning need for coffee may actually be as hard to give up as tobacco use. Whether your drink of choice is coffee, diet coke, or Monster energy drinks, there is now evidence that the addiction you have been claiming for years might actually be caffeine use disorder.
A recent study published in the Journal Of Caffeine Research observed the relationship between caffeine dependance and withdrawal symptoms when users try to give up their daily usage. American University professor of psychology Laura Juliano, who partnered with Steven Meredith and Roland Griffiths of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and John Hughes from the University of Vermont, gathered information on the effects of caffeine use from a wide variety of scientific studies. Though the results were not terribly surprising, they have caught the eye of the scientific community.
“The negative effects of caffeine are often not recognized as such because it is a socially acceptable and widely consumed drug that is well integrated into our customs and routines,” Juliano reported. “And while many people can consume caffeine without harm, for some it produces negative effects, physical dependence, interferes with daily functioning, and can be difficult to give up, which are signs of problematic use.”
Caffeine use has not been popularly accepted as a drug or a disorder, but it has been in the news recently. The Monster Energy company has been under fire lately for apparently targeting children in their marketing. Health officials are concerned that the high amounts of caffeine contained in the energy drinks could be hazardous for children. Monster has maintained their position that they have a warning label and that Starbucks coffee actually contains more caffeine than their drinks.
How addictive is that morning coffee? Apparently more than half of those studied had difficulty even reducing the amount of daily caffeine intake. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM V) recognized that caffeine use should be further researched. Juliano and her team are now pushing to see caffeine use disorder included in the list of addictions.
Chances are, not many people are interested in giving up their caffeine “addictions”. The advice of the team studying the effects of caffeine would be to limit your daily intake to about 400 mg. That is the equivalent of two to three eight ounce cups of coffee. Interestingly, the research did find that some of the people studied actually would be interested in formal assistance in dealing with the addiction and withdrawal symptoms associated with caffeine use disorder.