Millions of people all over the world have the same routine. Get up, have coffee, get ready for work, pick up coffee on the way to work, have coffee with work breaks, lunches, and for meet ups with friends. Stay up late (with the aid of a cup of coffee) working on getting caught up. Repeat. Coffee - or rather, the caffeine it contains - is a social beverage, a tool to help us function better, and a savior for those times when we need to stay up just a little bit longer. But are there drawbacks as well as positives to using caffeine? You bet there are. And one of them is caffeine addiction.
Though we drink coffee and caffeinated beverages with the same abandon that we would drink juice or water, the fact remains that caffeine is a drug. It changes the way your body works, just like alcohol or nicotine. It is a stimulant that heightens your mental alertness temporarily. Caffeine works by bonding with the receptors in your brain that detect the chemical called adenosine which makes you sleepy, preventing your brain from realizing it is tired. So it speeds up instead of slowing down, releasing adrenaline and dopamine to make you feel energized and happy.
The problem is that you grow to depend on it. When the caffeine wears off, all that tiredness that you should have been feeling returns, the adrenaline and dopamine wear off, and you're left plodding around your Vaughan homes like a depressed zombie. People don't like to feel this way, so they get rid of it with more caffeine, compounding the problem. Chronic caffeine use keeps adrenaline in your system all the time, which creates a state of continuous low-level panic among your cells. Caffeine also damages your ability to sleep deeply.
If you've ever been forced to go without your morning coffee, you know the signs and symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. The creeping headache, the lethargy, the irritability, the feeling of depression. It not only causes suffering for you, but for everyone around you in the inverse ETFs office because you're constantly snapping at them. If this happens to you when you miss your regular dose, you are addicted to caffeine. It has a hold over you, and if for any reason you cannot get it at the proper times, you will suffer.
Caffeine addiction is a societal norm, but if you don't like being under the sway of an addictive drug, you can kick the habit. You can start by stepping down on your intake gradually and finally ridding your body of it for good. There are even addiction recovery programs you can join that may help.