Addicted to Coffee? Essay

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Addicted to Coffee? As a sophomore in college, I know how important it is to get that first cup of coffee in the morning. That first cup of coffee, second cup, and third cup seem vital to the well-being of Bryn Mawr students all over campus. They help us to stay awake through our classes, hours of study, and even time spent socializing. But is caffeine really addictive? Ask any Bryn Mawr student, and chances are that she will answer with an emphatic "Yes!" Ask any scientist or doctor the same question and the answer is likely to be just as emphatic, but what that answer will be is much less predictable. It is universally recognized that caffeine is a stimulant, a substance that causes the body to act differently from the ways that…show more content…
It seems to me that all of these symptoms apply to people who have a regular intake of caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, and cola drinkers) but to a much lesser extent than apply to people who are addicted to other substances such as prescription and illegal drugs. When a person who has been regularly consuming caffeine suddenly stops caffeine intake, that person is likely to experience symptoms such as irritability, inability to concentrate, constipation, and lethargy (1). A study in which people in a mental hospital were given either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee produced results which indicated that caffeine is in fact addictive when those who were given decaffeinated coffee increased their coffee intake to consume the same amount of caffeine as they had with fully caffeinated coffee (3). These results show people exhibiting symptoms of substance dependency. As for whether there is an increase in caffeine tolerance, Georges Koob, Ph.D., reasons that caffeine intake does not stimulate a craving for more caffeine because the tolerance is so complete that the same results are felt after relatively large amounts of caffeine as are felt after relatively small amounts, and this "discourages a chronic destructive pattern of abuse." This is also the case with the hallucinogen LSD (3). Some experts also say that even small doses of coffee can cause negative effects in the body, such as tiredness in the afternoon when the caffeine wears off (1),

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