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Difficulty of How to End Caffeine Addiction

Updated on March 26, 2012

Dealing with Caffeine Addiction

Many people in our society suffer from some level of caffeine addiction. While most people will either be unaware of the problem or will choose to ignore it, some people will find that the problem is so bad that they must do something about it. Unfortunately the fact that caffeine addiction isn't taken seriously as a drug addiction leads to a high level of difficulty for those people who do have a serious problem with the issue and who do seek to get help. A lack of resources and a general sense that the rest of the world isn't taking your concern seriously can make it particularly difficult to get over an addiction which is already physically tough to bear.

What Is Caffeine Addiction

Like with any addiction, an addiction to caffeine refers to a problem in which you feel the emotional or physical need to have caffeine. Often, you know that you ultimately aren't going to feel good as a result of indulging in caffeine intake but you drink that soda or buy that cup of coffee anyway because you simply need to get your fix. It also involves becoming more and more tolerant of caffeine which means that you may need greater amounts than before to achieve the same effects. (For example, you need two cups of coffee to get going in the morning whereas you used to only need one.)

Withdrawal when Giving Up Caffeine

Like with any addiction, there are going to be effects that you experience when you try to give up caffeine. First of all, you will feel constant cravings for the caffeine and you will feel like you need to have it which is something that can tempt you to give up on trying to break away from the addiction. Secondly, you may feel a variety of physical symptoms that are caused by withdrawal from the drug. These physical symptoms include tiredness, headaches, anxiety and a general sense of not feeling well. You have to realize that these feelings are going to pass.

Difficulties of Giving up Caffeine

The withdrawal that you experience is going to make it difficult for you to give up caffeine. You will also find that there are other reasons that it is difficult to end this addiction. The main problem (besides the symptoms of withdrawal and the general difficulty of giving up an addiction) is that there is a lack of support from others when you are trying to give up caffeine. If you were trying to give up heroin, people in your life would support you and say that yes, you should never do any kind of heroin. But people don't realize that caffeine addiction can be serious and therefore they may downplay or belittle the fact that you are trying to give it up. This lack of understanding about the problems with caffeine addiction also means that there is a lack of resources for people who have this problem which adds to the difficulty of giving up caffeine.

So How Do You End A Caffeine Addiction?

The first thing that you need to do to end a caffeine addiction is to realize that it is going to be a difficult thing to do. No one will take you seriously, there will be temptation all around you and you are physically not going to feel good for awhile when you are giving up the caffeine. That's something that you're going to have to come to terms with if you are going to ultimately have the will power to give up caffeine. Once you have established that will power, you can give up the physical process of eliminating caffeine from your diet.

There are two approaches that you can take to ending your caffeine intake: cold turkey and easing up. Cold turkey means that you give up all caffeine immediately and don't give in to having it ever. You don't eat pieces of chocolate. You don't get soda with your lunch. This is the more difficult of the two options both to do and to maintain over time. However, for people with a serious caffeine addiction, it may be the only way to handle the problem.

The other method, and the one more commonly used, is to ease up on caffeine intake. Someone who drinks coffee all throughout the day may start only drinking coffee in the morning. Someone who drinks coffee in the morning may switch to drinking black tea or some other drink that has a lower amount of caffeine. These people sometimes choose to continue cutting back until they have no caffeine in their diet at all but some people also choose to just have a limited amount of caffeine in their diet for the rest of their lives.

The choice that you make regarding how to give up caffeine is going to depend on many factors. It depends on the extent of your problem and the goals that you have for reducing that problem (meaning that you may not want to actually cut out all caffeine but want to cut back because you notice it causing you physical harm). It also depends on the personality style that you have in regards to which method is likely to have more long-term standing with you.

Getting More Information

People who have a serious problem with caffeine addiction will find that it is really difficult to get resources for resolving this problem. There are some websites and books out there about this issue which is a good place to start. However, you should know that you can also learn a lot by reading about other types of addiction, such as alcohol addiction. Many of the problems that you have when trying to give up caffeine will be the same problems that people with other addictions have as they try to give up their vices. Learning what these are and learning how to combat them can be effective in assisting you in getting away from the drug of caffeine.

Try To Find Support

It can't be said enough that the main problem isn't the addiction itself or the lack of resources but the fact that most people around you won't take your caffeine addiction seriously. Try really hard to find some support from at least one friend or family member to assist you in getting through this difficult time.

Comments

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  • AKN-London profile image

    AKN-London 

    7 years ago from UK

    Yes that's right we don't realize that caffeine can create lots of health problems! I use to drink lots lot coffee and drinks with caffeine but since my friend told my the side effects of caffeine, i stop drinking coffee and drinks with caffeine! Thanks for posting a awesome blog!

  • greencap profile image

    greencap 

    7 years ago from Pakistan

    I got used to taking tea, 3-4 times a day, and any day i didn't take it in the breakfast, i used to suffer from severe headache for the whole day.

    Then i decided to get rid of it. I gradually reduced the quantity from full cup to half to quarter cup, and reduced the consumption from 4 times to 2 times per day.

    Then i replaced the afternoon intake with green tea, which is something much better for health.

    Difficult to do at start, but certainly do-able

  • attemptedhumour profile image

    attemptedhumour 

    7 years ago from Australia

    I get accused of being a health fanatic because i don't have sugar in my tea or coffee. If i pack them in completely i'll probably get certified. I do drink too much of both and your article 'may' be the catylist for cutting down and stopping. I'm thinking about it, honestly! Good hub though.

  • christalluna1124 profile image

    christalluna1124 

    8 years ago from Dallas Texas

    I am not allowed to have caffine or sugar due to my medical condition, I drink diet caffiene free coke, use splenda and avoid all the things I know contain caffine. I had failed to see one thing the chocolate I traded for my starbucks expresso has caffine also, so i still am hooked. There are days I just have to have that chocolate.Great article!

  • profile image

    scheng1 

    8 years ago

    The problem is that I dont want to give up drinking coffee! I admit that I am coffee addict, so were my dead grandparents, who lived to ripe old age.

  • Woody Marx profile image

    Woody Marx 

    9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I find Starbucks irresistible...maybe they are putting something other than caffeine in their coffee....:0  Thanks for info!

  • robie2 profile image

    Roberta Kyle 

    9 years ago from Central New Jersey

    I'm down to two mega mugs a day, but I have to say that I can't give it up and don't want to. I love coffee. Never touch soft drinks--don't like the taste so that's not a problem.

    Once years ago I went cold turkey off coffee--had a hell of a headache and couldn't function for two days. Then felt wonderful with lots of energy for a week before I succumbed to coffee once again. I'll never do that again:-) Good hub. Thanks.

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish 

    9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

    When I was in high school I did not realize that i had an a sort of dependence with Coke and Pepsi, even though I drank only 1 per day. The first three days after I just stopped drinking then both, I felt really strange, then I was ok. Coffee never did that to me, but perhaps it was the sugar instead of the caffeine, or combo of both in the soft drinks. I have seen folks with caffeine withdrawal sort-of-thing and it's scary.

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 

    9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    When I lived in Spain I had a huge addition to caffeine. It led to tachycardia and other health issues. I also noticed huge headaches on days when I didn't indulge in huge amount of coffee. I have suffered from migraines, and these were just as bad! I also developed an ulcer, then another, until I had three at the same time!

    Now I have one delicious cup of coffee a day - and sometimes none at all. When I go to my favorite coffee house (Caribou Coffee) I limit myself to just one large frozen coffee. I nurse that cup for hours and when it's done I know it is time to go home.

  • profile image

    Eddie Perkins 

    9 years ago

    Kathryn,

    Very valuable information.  I have no problem with caffeine either. I’ve quit at least a hundred times in my life.  That is a mixture of humor, exaggeration and truth, but it also suggests another article for you.

    I’ve usually decreased one cup per day every day successfully till I got down to eliminating the last cup.  At that point I discovered that I could not pass up the candy machine.  For that temptation, I’ve used vitamin b successfully for the caffeine graving.

    The most difficult part for me has been missing the coffee at a meal or in cold weather. For that I’ve used a cup of hot water – it tricks my body into thinking I’m drinking my coffee.  You see experienced quitters do have some value to offer. I gave you a thumbs up and I will Stumble it. ~ eddie

  • tulwave profile image

    tulwave 

    9 years ago from Orlando,Fl

    What a great hub, I of course don't have a problem. I was able to go from 10 diet cokes a day down to 8 with no problem.

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