Definition of Caffeine

Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug that acts as a stimulant drug. When consumed caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant, waking up the user from a drowsy state and producing feelings of alertness. Caffeine is a legal and unregulated drug that is found in many different types of beverages such as; soft drinks, coffee, tea and energy drinks. Approximately 90% of North American adults consume caffeinated drinks each day.

Low Risk of Health Effects

Regular low doses of caffeine hows a low risk of health effects. Caffeine has shown to have protective effects against some diseases such as various types of cancers. It has shown to have both positive and negative effects on people with anxiety that consume caffeine. Because of its stimulant properties many who consume caffeine in the evening hours have difficulties sleeping, others it has no effect on their ability to sleep.

Caffeine Uses

Caffeine is used in many different types of beverages such as; soft drinks, coffee, tea and energy drinks, as well as in low doses within chocolate. Caffeine is consumed for increased energy and to reduce drowsiness. Approximately 120,000 tonnes f caffeine are consumed globally per year.

Caffeine is not only found within beverages and food, it is also manufactured into tablet from as a pharmaceutical to improve mental alertness. Caffeine tables are taken to decreased fatigue and increased attentiveness. Unordinary routs of caffeine consumption comes from some companies that have created caffeine strips, SpazzStick, a caffeinated lip balm.

Caffeine can also be found in combination with pain relieves as treatment for migraine headaches.

Addiction to Caffeine

Regular use of caffeine often results in a tolerance that requires more of the substance to acheive the desired effects. Prolonged use of caffeine will result in an addiction to the substance. Within 12 to 24 ours of discontinuing the use of caffeine when addicted the user will experience a wide variety of withdrawal symptoms including: headache, irritability, inability to concentrate, drowsiness, insomnia, and pain in the stomach, upper body, and joints. The symptoms experienced vary in type and severity by the individual person.

Treating a Caffeine Addiction

The best way to treat a caffeine addiction is to gradually lower the amount of caffeine consumed daily until the body is no longer physically dependent on the substance. Once the body is rid of caffeine it is important to the individual to monitor their future caffeine use (if any) to prevent the development of a tolerance and dependency. Typically those addicted to caffeine do not require medical treatment, they are able to wean from the drug on their own.