Every morning I get out of bed and quickly make myself a cup of coffee. If you told me I could not have a cup of coffee for a year I am not sure how I would react or more importantly how my body would react. It has become such a regular routine that it is becoming just natural for me to get my daily dose of caffeine. If you told me I could not consume alcohol for a year I could get by with no problem. This led me to the hypothesis, is caffeine more addictive than alcohol?
Caffeine is made from various plants or can now be found in a man made form. One can argue it is the most abused drug in America because Americans consume so many products that contain caffeine such as soda, coffee, energy drinks, weight loss pills, and many more. On average Americans consume three cups of coffee per day. One 8oz cup of coffee can contain nearly 200 mg of caffeine, and if you add up two more cups that equals a staggering 600 mg. When caffeine enters the body dopamine is released in the brain causing the body/mind. This makes the body want to do it again and again, making addiction a realistic possibility. The American Medical Association has come out and said that consuming moderate amounts of caffeine is not harmful, but a great deal of Americans consume way more than the recommended amount.
I have often heard many people joke that coffee is the only thing getting them through the day, but thousands of people are dependent on the drink leading to negative side effects. One of the biggest is withdraw and a study has shown that caffeine withdraw occurs with 10 possible symptoms: headache, fatigue, decreased energy/activeness, decreased alertness, drowsiness, decreased contentedness, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and foggy/not clearheaded. “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.” Of adult 18 and older 7% (16.6 million) of them suffer from alcoholism. Millions of people struggle to deal with it every day, but it is believed every three of four caffeine regular caffeine users are addicted to the drug. 68 million people drink three cups of coffee a day, leading to the conclusion that of these people 51 million of them are actually addicted.
It is nearly impossible to make the argument that one addiction is stronger than the other because that is a personal thing with too much bias to determine. Based off the numbers one can conclude that there are more people addicted to caffeine than alcohol in America. After my research there is not enough evidence to fail to reject the hypothesis that caffeine is more addictive than alcohol. Although there may be more people addicted to caffeine, there are many outlying factors that play a role in causing this such as if someone was exposed to the drug at a young age or how much sleep one may get.