by Kimberly Paxton
This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by your friends at The Daily Sheeple.
My name is Kimberly, and I am a coffeeholic.
There, I said it.
Now, millions more like me can part the veil of shame and get help, because there is a name for that jonesing we get for our morning coffee.
Stop mocking us. We suffer from a legitimate issue that even has a name.
Caffeine Use Disorder. It’s the dirty little secret of our generation.
Because if a “disease” doesn’t have a name, you can’t “treat” it, scientists have come up with a nifty title for those of us who drink more then 2-3 cups of coffee per day. A study published in the Journal of Caffeine Research has sounded the grim alarm.
The study, coauthored by American University psychology professor Laura Juliano, shows that more people are suffering withdrawal symptoms and are unable to reduce caffeine consumption which is causes the “caffeine use disorder.”
“There is misconception among professionals and lay people alike that caffeine is not difficult to give up. However, in population-based studies, more than 50 percent of regular caffeine consumers report that they have had difficulty quitting or reducing caffeine use,” Juliano said in a press release. ”Through our research, we have observed that people who have been unable to quit or cut back on caffeine on their own would be interested in receiving formal treatment–similar to the outside assistance people can turn to if they want to quit smoking or tobacco use.”
The results of previously published caffeine research was summarized in the study to present the biological evidence for caffeine dependence and the significant physical and psychological symptoms experienced by regular caffeine users.
“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 said. “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.” (source)
You see how this works, right? You see where this is going? You see the visions of dollar signs dancing through the air like sugar plums on Christmas Eve?
This line: ”…people who have been unable to quit or cut back on caffeine on their own would be interested in receiving formal treatment.”
Mental health professionals love to come up with ambiguous diagnoses for all manner of issues just so that these things can be treated. The DSM-IV is constantly expanding to cover “new” mental health issues. If everyone is a victim of some “disorder” then everyone needs to be “treated”. And lots of folks make money that way: the pharmaceutical companies can develop a medication for it, the clinicians can develop a protocol, and the food industry can come up with substitutes.
Soon, Big Pharma will jump into the game with a caffeine patch and caffeine gum. Big Food will create a toxic chemical concoction to help you wean yourself off of coffee, like a grocery-store methadone for java addicts, and that substitute will probably be 10 times worse for your health than just drinking the coffee in the first place.
There will be support groups, forums, and 12 step programs, all pushing the products and a life free of “caffeine use disorder.” There will be warning labels and caffeine free labels to drive up the prices of food and beverages even more. You’ll pay extra for items that have been further processed to remove all traces of the addictive substance.
The next generation of Nanny Bloombergs will be all over it like white on snow, banning, limiting, and labeling. Perhaps they’ll make it mandatory to place a sticker with a large skull and crossbones symbol on takeout coffee cups.
Flavored coffee, cappuccino, espresso, iced coffee…that is like the finest poetry. Seriously, Science People. Just walk away from the coffee, and no one gets hurt. I’m giving you fair warning: I will CUT you. Does this mean that I have a problem? Oh, sweet merciful Moses! I do suffer from Caffeine Use Disorder!
I think I’ll get my treatment at the Starbucks clinic, with a venti Caffe Americano, 2 creams and 2 sugars, please.