Caffeine Addiction: Can You Quit?

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Up to 90% of adult Americans consume caffeine every day. Most commonly, the caffeine is in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. This adds up to an average of about 280 mg of caffeine per day, or the equivalent of about two cups of coffee. Many people who consume caffeine on a regular basis report that they experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms when this popular stimulant is withdrawn, similar to the symptoms felt with the withdrawal of other addictive substances.

The terms "caffeine addiction" and "caffeine dependence" are commonly used, but to date, there is not scientific proof that caffeine meets the criteria to induce a complete addiction. Several case studies, however, have shown that caffeine was able to induce a clinical dependence similar to that induced by other psychoactive drugs in some people. There is also a lack of scientific evidence to show that severe side effects are associated with stopping caffeine use.

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