Controversial View of Caffiene and Nicotine

Controversial View of Caffiene and Nicotine

It is widely known that when attending 12 step meetings, such as alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous, you will see many people drinking coffee or energy drinks and smoking cigarettes. You will see an extreme amount of energy drink consumption especially if you attend a 12 step convention. Many use energy drinks to stay up all weekend during the convention. I have long thought that recovering addicts were probably using these drinks as well as coffee and cigarettes for the effect. That is to get a buzz without having to call it a relapse. Now this is just my personal opinion, but when I was in school to become a chemical dependency counselor they taught us that caffeine and nicotine are two of the most powerful and addictive stimulants available, yet so many recovering addicts lean on these vices during recovery. There are many different arguments regarding this topic. I have heard some people argue that if it wasn’t for cigarettes they wouldn’t have made it through early recovery. I am not one to take an opinion away from another, perhaps which is true for them. But how can we really say that we are sober from all mind-altering chemicals while consuming them at the same time? Are they discounted simply because they are legal? Well, so is alcohol.

Studies have shown that nicotine as well as caffeine consumption actually raises the relapse rate significantly in those trying to recover. These stimulants also act as gateway drugs for many. Heavy alcohol consumption was especially linked to the consumption of energy drinks, as well as those who consume energy drinks are 3 times more likely to use cigarettes and abuse prescription stimulants such as Adderhol and Ritalin (both used to treat ADHD). This is not so surprising considering that these substances give you a similar, and I will admit milder, feeling that other substances such as Adderhol, Ritalin, meth and even coke might give you. If you are a drug addict who has abused such stimulants in the past, consuming caffeine or nicotine is simply asking to get triggered to want to use again. I realize that I am not going to be the one to change all minds but these are the facts. If you want the best possible chance at recovery why would you tempt yourself on a daily basis?

9 Comments
  • macadamia

    October 23, 2008 at 4:03 pm Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. It may not be as harmful or mind-altering as a heavy drug or alcohol addiction, but I do not think it is healthy to recover from one just to create an addiction to cigarettes, for example. The addiction itself is not a healthy pattern.

  • kelzz89

    October 29, 2008 at 3:42 am Reply

    i totally agree. i used to be on adderall for my ADD. now i am not and yet use caffeine as my vise. if there is enough espresso in my drink, i feel nearly the same effect that i did on medication. this is a scary thought for someone who may have been addicted to that high.

  • JuliAnn

    October 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm Reply

    Its crazy how many college students are trading medication or faking symptoms in order to get medication. Models are even using it as a diet tool.

  • srrosenstein

    October 29, 2008 at 3:07 pm Reply

    I absolutely agree! caffeine and nicotine are very addictive and quitting smoking for me was almost as hard as getting sober!

  • Andrea

    October 29, 2008 at 4:56 pm Reply

    i guess a lot of young people start to use prescription drugs,cigarettes and caffeine to stave off hunger in order to stay skinny, the scary thing is a lot of adults have never stopped doing it.

  • ABC

    October 29, 2008 at 5:07 pm Reply

    yes they are really addictive but i love nicotine. yes they are bad for you as well as many other things but for i now i stick to smoking.

  • JuliAnn

    October 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm Reply

    Quitting nicotine was harder than quitting drugs for me. especially because it is everywhere.

  • amymonkeykins

    October 30, 2008 at 8:54 am Reply

    It is all nasty but I must say that if you come in addicted to it all, as I did. Giving up the alcohol and drugs and using only nicotine and caffeine in early sobriety is huge. A time will hopefully come when each person has grown in consciousness to give up even more when they are ready. That is my experience. The young people are not the only ones to hang on to these “lesser” addictions. The whole caffeine thing has gotten way out of hand and yes, I do know plenty that USE the energy drinks, by admission, for affect. God bless! I pray that this too shall pass. But again, it could be worse.

  • ninhaloten1119

    October 31, 2008 at 6:02 am Reply

    nicotine combined with caffeine also do so much harm to your body!

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