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You may not realize it, but you or someone you love is addicted to drugs. No one acknowledges it as a problem. In fact, society praises it, and I can no longer keep quiet: it is time to stop the glorification of addiction.
There are many addictions present in our society that are accepted, or even encouraged: porn, sugar, and caffeine are just a few. While porn is considered “normal” by many, but it is typically kept behind closed doors. Most people acknowledge that sugar is bad for you, even though it is the focal point of many gatherings. But caffeine?
My Addiction is Better than Yours
“What do you mean you’ve never had coffee?”
“I couldn’t have survived college without coffee.”
“No one talk to me until I’ve had a cup of coffee!”
“Thank GOD coffee is paleo!”
“Would you rather give up coffee or chocolate?” “Chocolate! Don’t ever take my coffee!” “I could never give up coffee!”
“I need the coffee. Without the coffee I stop doing the walking.”
I was going to post a coffee addict meme, but I couldn’t pick which one infuriated me the most, so I’ll just leave this entire Pinterest page.
Why are we so excited about this addiction to coffee? Is it because the caffeine gives you so much energy that you are too hyper and excited to think rationally (yes…I have actually seen this, although it’s more common that the addiction is so strong that the person cannot think rationally without caffeine)? Why do we encourage children and teenagers, who are still growing and developing, to become addicted to this drug rather than teach them the value of time management and enough sleep? Why is it expected that all students, professionals, and moms need caffeine to function? Why do we force ourselves to drink something that doesn’t even taste good to many, preferring to add large amounts of sugar and dairy over developing a lifestyle free of addiction?
Health Concerns of Caffeine
I don’t care if this study or that showed that coffee will cause you to live forever. Red wine is also touted to have many health benefits, but society still recognizes that alcoholism is a problem. Abuse of a drug such as caffeine or alcohol causes much more damage than any health benefits potentially received.
The Paleo Mom addresses the good and the bad of drinking coffee, and in her discussion on chronic stress and hormone imbalance, she mentions the importance of giving up coffee in order to heal. I highly recommend these posts if you are interested in the health impact of coffee and caffeine.
But any health benefits or detriments (because coffee does tax your adrenals and can cause GI damage!) are meaningless in the face of addiction. If you cannot function without your substance of choice, you are addicted. If you are constantly thinking about it, you are addicted. If you will disrupt your day to get more, you are addicted.
This is not a good thing. This is not something to be proud of. This is not something to proclaim to the world. How would you Facebook friends respond if you posted a status saying, “I can’t start my day without at least 3 beers to get me going.” Or “Nobody better talk to me until I have a glass of wine in me.”
It’s the same thing. Yes, alcohol is not the same as coffee, but whatever the substance is, it is still addiction. You can’t go a few days without coffee and you post every “coffee addict” meme you see. Why are you proud of this?
STOP the Glorification of Addiction!
It’s time to take back you life. Whether you are addicted to caffeine or anything else, take control. It’s time to stop the glorification of addiction. Don’t encourage children and teenagers to drink coffee (my younger siblings started before they were 16). If you are the face of a diet that focuses on real food and healing the body, don’t glorify your addiction as if it is a good part of a healing diet. Read Whole 9’s Coffee Manifesto and learn to identify an unhealthy relationship with caffeine. Learn how to cut back your caffeine intake from The Sprouting Seed and fight withdrawal symptoms with Good Food Eating’s tips.
If you truly love the taste of coffee, switch to decaf, drink unsweetened hot chocolate (it’s really good, especially if you like the bitter taste of coffee, although it does have a small amount of caffeine), or try these herbal coffees from Delicious Obsessions. If you still want a cup of regular once in awhile and you can handle it, that’s fine. But it is time to stop glorifying the consumption of such an addictive beverage.
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