Cocaine Addiction Information
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If you ever pulled an all-nighter in college or tried to find a weight-loss program in a bottle, chances are you’ve heard of caffeine pills.  And while we know they’re not cocaine they are perfectly legal with innocuous names (after all, who’d ever put caffeine on the “Just Say No” list?), they are not without side effects.  It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of caffeine pills before deciding to partake–for make no mistake, they are not the same as a cup of coffee.  

What Is Caffeine

Caffeine is both a drug and a food additive.  While it has earned its name as the key component of coffee beans, it can be found in more than sixty plants including tea leaves, kola nuts (used to make soft drinks), and cacao pods (used in chocolate).  Natural or synthetic caffeine is added to foods, drinks and medicines.

Caffeine is a stimulant that works on the brain and central nervous system.  Its effects peak within an hour of reaching the bloodstream and can last for at least four to six hours, according to the FDA.  Even drinking coffee at breakfast can affect you at bedtime.

Problems With Caffeine Use

While caffeine is desirable to most people for its ability to increase alertness and energy, there are a number of negative side effects, especially when taken in a concentrated form such as caffeine pills.

“Coffee jitters”, for example, produce a shaky feeling and make you feel on edge.  Caffeine can interfere with sleep, cause rapid or erratic heartbeat, increase blood pressure, cause headaches, and make you feel nervous or dizzy.

Caffeine drinkers can build up a tolerance just like with other drugs.  This can make it difficult to quit, and withdrawal symptoms can erupt after just one missed dose.  Withdrawal symptoms include severe headaches, irritability and other serious side effects.

It is possible to overdose on caffeine pills and yes, you can die from it.

Caffeine and Stress

While some take caffeine pills to combat stress–such as aiding with all-nighters to make deadlines–this is in fact the worst thing to consume if you experience any form of anxiety.  Caffeine drinkers actually experience an increase in stress levels, according to studies.  Their blood pressure will increase and their perception of stress inevitably grows.  Those with a history of panic attacks are strongly cautioned against use of caffeine pills.

Caffeine Sensitivity – What Are the Limitations

As with all drugs, people’s sensitivity to caffeine varies.  A friend may drink coffee like water and have no trouble falling asleep at night, while one cup may make you jittery for hours.  The FDA recommends becoming familiar with your tolerance level before taking caffeine pills.  In general, research suggests that 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine per day won’t harm most people.  That is the equivalent of one cup of coffee, two to five cups of tea, three cups of caffeinated soda, and one caffeine tablet.

On the other hand, if you have high blood pressure, could be pregnant, are breastfeeding, or have heart problems, be leery of caffeine pills.  Be sure to discuss it with your doctor if you are unsure.

If you are addicted to caffeine and choose to quit, you can avoid withdrawal symptoms by reducing the amount you consume gradually.  If you are accustomed to two cups of coffee a day, cut down to one a day, then half a cup a day, then try green tea for a few days, and then omit it completely from your diet.  You will want to become familiar with food labels, however, as it can be shocking how many foods contain caffeine.  For more information on this topic or others regarding drugs and addiction contact us at Narconon by going to