The word “drug” is a taboo in the society. People shun the so-called drug users and abusers. However, little do they know that they themselves are consuming a drug on a daily basis! Befuddled?
“Mom, can I have a cup of coffee?”
YES! Coffee! Or more specifically, caffeine.
Caffeine, a bitter substance found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, cola nuts, and certain medicines, is the world's most widely consumed psych-affecting drug. But unlike many other drugs, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.
Caffeine stimulates the brain causing increased alertness, focus and giving a small energy boost. It is perfectly safe in moderate amounts, even beneficial. At high doses however, caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and dehydration. It can also interfere with normal sleep. Studies have demonstrated that people who take in a minimum of 100 mg of caffeine per day (about the amount in one cup of coffee) can acquire a physical dependence.
Caffeine is also highly addictive and the battle with caffeine addiction can be quite unpleasant. A sudden drop in consumption levels might lead to side effects like headaches, fatigue, irritability, drowsiness and inability to concentrate.
While a glass of coffee early in the morning is relished by most, any kind of physical dependence to this “elixir of life” is detrimental in the long run.