Friday, May 17, 2013

Caffeine is a hell of a drug

Taken from the Internet
I thought I would have been fully recovered by now.. A few months ago, I was high on life and chlorophyll from shots of wheatgrass. Six months clean.. until I found a little shop that names their lattes after famous candy bars.. "I'll have a large Snickers please.."

It was all downhill from there..

There's a multi-billion dollar industry, hiding in plain sight.. that deals psychoactive stimulants over the counter and without required identification to minors. America loves caffeine and any coffee lover reading this would probably laughing at the direction this article is going by now.

Coffee has been culturally acceptable throughout American history as a go-to tonic to stimulate wakefulness. Sure, caffeine is considered a relatively safe stimulant when consumed in small amounts.. or is it?

Over time humans can develop a tolerance and will eventually need more of a kick. Not only that, but withdrawal symptoms occur within 12-24 hours after discontinuation of use. Symptoms that might be thought of as more severe are increased depression and anxiety, nausea, vomiting and physical pains can manifest after prolonged use.

..or, you know, having trouble holding your head up above your desk.

Either you or someone you know has been in the room with someone suffering from caffeine withdrawal. I think we can all agree, it's. not. pretty. Zombified, you walk over to your machine and clumsily prepare your daily pot.. place filter, add coffee grinds, press brew.. Ahh, the sound of heaven dripping into an empty carafe as your chosen beans' aroma fill the air.. So soothing.. Relate?! You could have some kind of dependance, physical, psychological or both. How could something considered so benign be so addictive?

Craziness surrounding cannabis infused edible snacks used as medicine, accused of being marketed to minors through packaging makes me wonder, "How do sweetened mocha flavored frozen beverages marketed through television commercials scramble underneath the reefer mad medible opponents' radar?!" Both Cannabis and Caffeine are "still being studied" and only one of these substances, cannabis, has made it into the Controlled Substances Act.


"Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance on earth, prized by almost every human culture for its ability to perk people up and keep them awake. In North America, around 90 per cent of adults report using caffeine every day." - New Scientist

"Safe limits of caffeine consumption are still being studied, but data suggest that most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams per day; pregnant women, up to 200 milligrams; and children, up to 45 to 85 milligrams depending on weight. An occasional energy drink is probably fine for most adults." - Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports rated 27 top selling energy drinks and 16 of them have enough caffeine to be considered dangerous to children.. Adults and minors shuffle in and out of caffeine dispensaries all over the country without ever considering how much caffeine their chosen beverage contains. No diagnosis needed, no medical prescription necessary and no second thoughts are made about handing a minor a 16 oz. caffe latte with over 100mg of caffeine and there is no question about its long term effects.

Caffeine is a drug. It is addictive and unchallenged. This popular stimulant is rarely questioned or considered dangerous. In fact, it is even added to some over the counter medications to improve their efficacy.

How can we as a society be perceived as credible when we completely overlook the chemistry of one substance only to exaggerate the other? We should rather be educated on all substances to make our own personal choices.. but that might be considered freedom.

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