Dependence on caffeine is becoming increasingly prevalent around the world. While low doses are safe to consume daily, many who ingest larger doses can become addicted and gain a tolerance to caffeine. Known as caffeine use disorder (CUD), becoming dependent on caffeine can become a serious detriment to your health. This blog will discuss how caffeine addiction occurs, its symptoms, demographics, and potential treatment.
What Is Caffeine Addiction?
Similar to how someone who regularly consumes alcohol or other substances builds up a tolerance, so does someone who regularly consumes caffeine. After some time, the individual needs increasingly more caffeine to achieve the same energized effects. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages, such as energy drinks and soda, can cause dependency in individuals rapidly.
Those who consume caffeine regularly may get used to the effects of the substance and progressively need larger doses to get the same “pick me up.” Additionally, caffeine drinkers who stop using caffeine abruptly after a long period of time have cravings and withdrawal symptoms similar to those who quit using drugs or other substances.
According to Molecular Diversity Preservation International, more than 85% of adults and children in the United States consume caffeinated foods and beverages on a daily basis. While some professionals don’t consider caffeine addiction to be a true substance addiction, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially identified caffeine addiction as a clinical disorder in 2012.
The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) recognized CUD as a condition for further study back in 2013. A disruptive and harmful pattern of caffeine use that causes significant impairment or suffering is referred to as CUD. Overuse, difficulty quitting, withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and tolerance are common characteristics of the disease.
Caffeine Use Disorder: Symptoms and Warning Signs
CUD can occur in anyone who regularly consumes caffeine and forms a reliance on it. Instead of analyzing how many milligrams of caffeine are being consumed daily, CUD is most often diagnosed by how caffeine use can affect a person’s daily functioning.
The amount of disruption this creates in a person’s regular life and how upset they feel when they desire caffeine but can’t obtain it are used to determine the degree of the addiction. Some symptoms of CUD that were stated in the DSM-5 include:
- An ongoing want to reduce caffeine use but repeatedly unsuccessful
- Continued caffeine use despite recurrent health issues caused or worsened by caffeine
- Caffeine is consumed in order to avoid or ease withdrawal effects
- Frequent caffeine use causes an inability to accomplish responsibilities at work, school, or home
- Caffeine is frequently taken in larger doses or over a more extended period
- A desire for increased doses of caffeine to achieve the same energized effect
- Reduced effect with continued use of the same dose of caffeine
If you’re unsure whether someone is abusing caffeine, they may show signs of restlessness, dilated pupils, hyperactivity, loss of appetite, or rapid heartbeat. This person may also be using more than 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is the recommended daily limit.
Short and Long-Term Effects of Caffeine Addiction
Short-term side effects of caffeine addiction can lead to hospitalization. These adverse effects usually only present themselves when caffeine products are taken in considerable doses. However, some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others and may feel these effects from an average amount of caffeine. Some of the adverse effects of caffeine addiction include nausea, irregular heartbeat, seizures, cardiac arrest, dizziness, and more.
The long-term health risks of CUD are considerably more dangerous. Some health effects include the following:
- Ongoing anxiety
- Stomach issues
- Kidney damage
- Heart issues
- High blood pressure
People who abuse substances do so with the goal of getting high. However, this isn’t the case with caffeine. Many people use caffeine to concentrate on work or remain energized throughout the day to focus on daily responsibilities. As a result, people who abuse caffeine may not realize that they have a problem. Understanding that there is a problem is the first step to treating caffeine addiction.
Treating Caffeine Addiction
Therapy, information on the effects of caffeine, and adapting to healthy lifestyle adjustments that reduce your caffeine use and uphold sound sleep patterns are all possible components of treatment strategies. To meet the unique requirements of each person, Avalon Malibu provides a variety of drug and alcohol treatment programs.
Our drug and alcohol treatment center is equipped to treat any addiction through specific protocols that include the following:
- Inpatient psychotherapy
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
- Outpatient psychotherapy with medication
We also have a highly skilled team of committed and compassionate professionals. Our various levels of care are designed to provide our clients with a seamless transition from treatment to a self-sufficient sober life.
Caffeine dependency must first be addressed and controlled using a detoxification procedure that aids in the person’s withdrawal management before genuine recovery can start. Then, by bolstering the body and regaining normal brain function, a mix of therapy for physical and mental health can aid individuals in recovering from caffeine addiction.
Caffeine addiction, or caffeine use disorder (CUD), can be fully treated once someone becomes willing to change their ways. At Avalon Malibu, we blend tried-and-true 12-Step programs with group and individual counseling, experiential therapies, and research-proven treatments to provide the optimum results for each client. Wea also provide therapeutic approaches built on the tested foundations of present-moment awareness, acceptance, exploration, and transformation. Motivational enhancement therapy (MET), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are coupled with the guiding principles of our educational and therapeutic model to provide a comprehensive strategy that supports significant and long-lasting improvement. Learn more about overcoming caffeine addiction by contacting our compassionate team at (844) 857-5992.