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Study Claims Existence of ‘Caffeine Use Disorder’

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Posted on Jan 30, 2014

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A study out of American University is unleashing upon the unsuspecting public yet another type of disorder to acquire—and this one seems pretty easy to get.

Yes, it’s “caffeine use disorder,” characterized by notable difficulties afflicted persons encounter when they try to curb their consumption of the drug, as well as by withdrawal symptoms.

American University psychology professor Laura Juliano, who co-authored “Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda” with three other researchers, delivered the bad news for overindulgent caffeinators (via CBS DC):

“There is misconception among professionals and lay people alike that caffeine is not difficult to give up. However, in population-based studies, more than 50 percent of regular caffeine consumers report that they have had difficulty quitting or reducing caffeine use,” Juliano said in a press release. ”Through our research, we have observed that people who have been unable to quit or cut back on caffeine on their own would be interested in receiving formal treatment—similar to the outside assistance people can turn to if they want to quit smoking or tobacco use.”

Although Juliano acknowledged that caffeine use is both widespread and socially acceptable, she warned that normalization doesn’t rule out negative side effects that can hinder daily functioning.

So, what’s the point, besides having another name for something potentially wrong with you? The authors submit that restriction recommendations should be included in marketing caffeinated products. And if enough people buy their argument, we could be in for a whole new cottage industry: rehab for coffee junkies.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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