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Caffeine Use Disorder

“I’m a zombie without my morning coffee.” “My blood type is Diet Coke.” “Caffeine isn’t a drug, it’s a vitamin.” Most people make jokes like these about needing a daily boost from their favorite caffeinated beverage — whether first thing in the morning or to prevent the after-lunch slump. But a recent study indicates that more people are dependent on caffeine to the point that they suffer withdrawal symptoms and are unable to reduce caffeine consumption even if they have another condition that may be impacted by caffeine — such as a pregnancy, a heart condition, or a bleeding disorder.
Various withdrawal symptoms combined are a condition called “Caffeine Use Disorder.” And according to the study cited below, even though caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the world — and is found in everything from coffee, tea, and soda, to OTC pain relievers, chocolate, and now a whole host of food and beverage products branded with some form of the word “energy” — health professionals have been slow to characterize problematic caffeine use and acknowledge that some cases may call for treatment.

“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,” Laura 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.”

Steven E. Meredith, Laura M. Juliano, John R. Hughes, Roland R. Griffiths.Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda.Journal of Caffeine Research, 2013; 3 (3): 114 DOI: 10.1089/jcr.2013.0016

Yes, Coffee is the lifeblood of the US Navy. And some of the mud in those big Silex brewers looks a lot like “syrup” when it’s been brewing and stewing for a few days. But it might not be all that good for you. Studies show that it might be good to limit consumption to 2 or at the most 3 caffeine drinks a day as a rule of thumb. Or 1 five hour energy/large Red Bull, etc.

19 thoughts on “CUD

  1. I'm with you on this. As a small-framed woman, I am extra sensitive to the effects of caffeine. I have cut way back lately.

  2. *Raises Hand*

    Yep, I'm an abuser. I stay away from the stuff because it really makes my brain crash. It's difficult, however, because caffeine is the one drug that does help with the constant pain and migraines. Hmmmmm. There must be a communist plot in there somewhere.

  3. You need a sinker if you have a cup of mud. And keeping doughnut shops safe is the principle job of law enforcement in America.

    PLUS – there is nothing like a fresh hot doughnut at 3 am on graveyard shift to perk things up —- along with caffeine.

  4. Italy and France would come to screeching stops were coffee to be reduced to 1 cup per day. CHAOS in the street, too.

  5. Yes they would.

    I worked with Italians and it was at least 10 triple shot espressos daily for them to keep on an even keel.

  6. I took the doctor's warnings years ago and stopped drinking coffee.

    I had a permanent IV drip installed for that.

  7. Hi,

    I thought you might find this interesting. Healthline has compiled a list of the Effects of Caffeine on the Body in a visual graphic and I thought you and your readers would be interested in seeing the information.

    You can check out the information at We’ve had good feedback about the article and we think it will benefit your readers by giving them med-reviewed information in a visual way.

    If you think this information is a good fit for your audience would you share it on your site, , or social media?

    Let me know what you think and have a great week.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3100 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

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