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[P]
My horrific trip through detox.

By watchmaker in Op-Ed
Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 10:57:25 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

I sat on a cheap green plastic lawn chair provided by some misguided City parks department functionary. 72 degrees and sunny, a calm comfortable breeze floated across the square as I sat and watched children play at the base of the fountain, and old men throwing bread to the pigeons. Despite the Norman Rockwell like scene around me, I writhed in agony.


To call it a headache would be irresponsible. Needles of fire jabbed at my frontal lobes from just behind my eyebrows, radiating a pulsating pain up over my scalp and down the back of my neck. My breath was short. My heart palpitated pitifully in my chest. Acidic waves of nausea beat at my stomach.

Though the day was relatively cool and I hadn't moved from my seat in half an hour, my body was drenched in a cold sweat. I was in the throes of a the type drug detox you see in movies.

On the table in front of me was the very substance I was struggling so hard to expunge from my body. It sat there taunting me, daring me to ingest. Looking around the square I counted twenty people ingesting the same evil drug.

My resolve shattered, I grabbed the bottle, twisted open the cap, and drank the entire twenty ounce Mountain Dew without stopping.

In the days of my youth I was impervious to caffeine. I could drink as much or as little as I wanted without any odd side effects. In college I earned the nickname 'Dewhound' for a while after I drank 24 cans of Mountain Dew in 36 hours during exam week.

In early 1992 I got sick. Really sick. The doctors diagnosed it as Mononucleoisis. That's right. Mono. Six weeks flat on my back, the act of getting out of bed to stumble to the bathroom to pee was a major undertaking.

Why do I bring this up in a discussion about caffeine? Because something chemically changed in my body after mono. I no longer metabolized caffeine in the same way. And I needed more and more to stave off the fatique and headaches.

By 1995 my "habit" was up to five twenty ounce Mountain Dew's a day. Any less and I got a headache. I can't stand the taste of coffee, and at the time there wasnt a realistic alternative like Water Joe, so Mountain Dew it was.

Realizing the hold the chemical was exerting over me I decided to take a drastic step. In the fall of 1995 I gave up caffeine cold turkey. My body's reaction was quite amazing. It reminded me of movie depictions of hard core detox, such as the depictions of Sherlock Holmes detox from Cocaine in The Seven Percent Solution.

Piercing migraine headaches, cold sweats, heart palpitations, wild uncontrollable mood swings. For two full weeks I stuck it out through symptoms that trailed off all too slowly. And then, I was clean. And for the next five years I remained clean. The hardest part was restaurants, as few decent restaurants serve anything caffeine free other than the white soft drinks, and here in Ohio, most serve Slice. I'd rather go thirsty than drink Slice, so I ordered Ice Water. I still do.

In early 2000 I wanted to get in better shape and undertook an exercise and supplement program which included a fat burning pill that contained Ephedra and Caffeine. After five years clean it was a real moral dilemma for me, should I fall off the wagon and begin to take caffeine again? I decided that I could handle the caffeine in controlled doses and took it for five days.

Saturday, my first Off day on the program, I didnt take the fat burner. By noon I had a headache. Painfully I realized I was effectively hooked again.

For a myriad of uninteresting reasons the exercise program went away, and I was stuck again drinking Mountain Dew to feed my habit.

Gaining resolve in the arbitrary name of "The New Millennium", I detoxed again in early 2001, going through roughly the same symptoms. Of course, this time I have children. The rapid and unpredictable mood swings this time led me to ruin my birthday by screaming at my family, causing my five year old to avoid me. Ah, yes. Fun stuff caffeine.

Shortly after I was clean again I began to notice a real malaise settling over my life. Anger, depression, anxiety, whatever you care to call it, it was becoming harder and harder to do my job. As I was struggling to be one of the few who managed to avoid being dotcom downsized (I didn't. I'm part of your April layoff numbers.) I needed that illusory sense of clarity that caffeine provides. I was happy in January -- So the twisted logic goes -- and am unhappy now. And so, I made a conscious choice to "medicate" myself with caffeine.

This time, I decided to go about it scientifically. Instead of five mountain dew's a day, my drug of choice was now no-doz. 200mg of caffeine with my morning OJ. And, like all good gateway drugs, my step up into a world of harder pharaceuticals didnt go very well.

This time within a week I was not only hooked but craving. By the middle of week two it was a No Doz and a Mountain Dew (about 90ish mg in a 20oz). By the end of week four it was two Dews.

The amazing part of this trip through was the paranoia, anxiety and depression. If I was awake, I was in some form of anxiety. A cop pulling into traffic behind me was a true fight or flight adrenaline reaction. My life had effectively boiled down to a witty joke...

Why are you depressed?
-- I'm awake, aren't I?

And, while I was able to concentrate on my work better, it became obvious I needed to yet again detox. I'd made it before, I was sure I could make it again. What's a little pain?

For as difficult as my time on caffeine had become, the detox was the same tenfold. More anxiety, paranoia, raw fear, depression. Stronger, near-debilitating migraines. Cold sweats. Shortness of breath. Heart Palpitations. Acidic nausea. The pain in my chest strong enough that I wondered nihilistically to myself if I was going to die.

The scenario in the intro to this story actually happened. On a bright, sunny, breezy afternoon I sat on my lunch hour in misery on Cincinnati's Fountain Square in the heart of downtown. I sat and stared at a 20oz Mountain Dew the way an Alcoholic would a bottle of scotch. I hated the people around me for their happiness. I hated them for their bottles of Coke. And I hated myself as I drank.

Now, don't get me wrong, not everyone metabolizes caffeine the way my body does. And while the above may sound grossly melodramatic to those who can partake of caffeine with impunity (such as, unfortunately, my wife.) I assure you all of the above is true.

And so now, as I sit here after an almost five week detox my only question is this...

Why do people laugh knowingly with someone who says "I can't function without my coffee", when they would huddle in hushed, concerned, conspiratorial conversation about someone who said "I just can't function without my Scotch."?

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My horrific trip through detox. | 117 comments (115 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Hrmmm (3.80 / 5) (#1)
by delmoi on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 07:42:12 PM EST

Why do people laugh knowingly with someone who says "I can't function without my coffee", when they would huddle in hushed, concerned, conspiratorial conversation about someone who said "I just can't function without my Scotch."?

Well, being on caffine dosn't cause the same problems that being on Alcohol does. I mean it's not like people go around wife-beating and crashing cars while caffinated the same way they do when drunk.

Anyway, maybe you should see a doctor?
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
How I beat the big C habit (3.80 / 5) (#2)
by X-Nc on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 07:44:37 PM EST

Back 20 years ago when I was in collage my first semister was pretty much spent drinking Cokes. For three months I averaged 25 cans a day. No lie. I was able to bring that down to between 15 and 18 for 18 years. Then 6 years ago I came down with a very bad form of Fibromyalgia. Caffine is very bad for FM. I had to quit cold. I switched to Sprites (or 7 UP or Mist). It was not easy but I was able to beat the headaches and the shakes after a few weeks.

--
Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
A short addendum. (5.00 / 7) (#3)
by watchmaker on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 07:54:50 PM EST

No, I don't think that what I went through is as bad or worse as what people go through with alcohol or drug addiction. Caffeine never made me rob a convenience store. I never physically assaulted anyone or passed out in a stupor under a highway overpass. I never sucked cock for a No-Doz fix.

But what I went through WAS in fact a drug detox. It WAS in fact excruciatingly difficult. I did in fact wonder if I was dying at one point.

This story was originally written as a comment to the earlier Red Bull story. When it became obvious that it was getting long, I cut and pasted it into a story submission.

And for those that care, I am now finally healthy again. No headaches. No anxiety. No depression. I consider this an abject lesson in the limits of my physiology. Sometimes the rat has to get shocked a few times before he stops hitting the red button.

legal (4.60 / 5) (#12)
by Refrag on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 10:21:33 PM EST

Caffeine is legal. That is why you haven't had to stoop to the levels of other drug addicts to get your fix. Think about a world where caffeine were illegal and you were still addicted. What would you do to get your fix? I don't think I'd suck dick for anything, but I'd probably go broke buying 20oz caffeinated beverages (they'd be very expensive since it'd be illegal).

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Is Caffeine That Bad? (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by Shalom on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 11:35:25 PM EST

When I want a lot of caffeine for extra coding punch or whatever, I'll drink a 12 pack a day, and then when I decide I'm just using it out of habit I'll stop. For months. At one point it kind of pissed me off when I heard that caffeine was an addiction and I realized I didn't know why I drank as much soda as I did, so I stopped. For months. Sometimes I wanted it (every day at first, then less and less), but it was never more than a distant want, and I just didn't have it. Maybe it's different for me, but I think there's a major chemical difference between caffeine and cocaine--caffeine is far less addictive. Legality isn't the main difference here.

[ Parent ]
SOME (4.00 / 3) (#38)
by Refrag on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:30:08 AM EST

Some people (like me) don't have a problem with alcohol at all. They can get sloshed one night every two or three months and then ocassionally have a beer with their meals and have no problem. However, there are alcoholics that cannot fight their addiction to the substance. It's the same with any other drug. Not everyone gets addicted to speed, coke, etc.

Saying that it must not be that bad because it hasn't happened to you isn't a very good way to look at things.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Nor My Acquaintances (3.00 / 1) (#77)
by Shalom on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 02:05:07 PM EST

None of my acquaintances have these large problems with caffeine either, though I know ones that have problems with both alcohol and drugs. Nor either of the people who responded to this thread so far, even the addictive personality guy.

I still think it's far less addictive than drugs or alcohol. One way of putting this would be "there are far fewer people who have an affinity for addiction to caffeine than drugs or alcohol."

Then again, maybe the reason I don't see the problems is it's not defined as a problem in our society. People don't do caffeine interventions. There's no caffeine rehab centers. You could argue that this is so because there's not as much of a need for them.

Nonetheless, here's some food for thought.

If it doesn't affect addiction until you have assloads of it, then I'd say it's not as addictive ... but then, science changes its mind about the danger of various foods weekly.



[ Parent ]
The Major Difference... (4.66 / 3) (#63)
by ronin212 on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:35:18 AM EST

...is the predisposition of the individual to addiction. At least, so *I* posit. And furthermore, the predisposition of the individual towards drug A vs. drug B.

I myself have what I would call an addictive personality. I have found myself at times addicted to things that are not considered "physically addicting" like cannabis, LSD, and the Internet. Physical withdrawal is just one, and the most obvious, of the forces that can pull you into using a drug or anything else against your will, interest, and better judgment.

On the flip side, my experience with the drug cocaine has been completely addiction and worry free, even though I've taken the liberty to use it as a toy on, at one point, a virtually daily basis.

What *is* addiction, then?

Currently, I find that when I come home from work, pretty soon I start thinking about getting high, and soon after that I stop being able to think about anything else. I disregard the fact that the intoxicated state will make it impossible for me to spend that time in an enjoyable and productive way like reading a book. I smoke anyway. Even worse is if I'm in a state like this and don't have any -- cause I'll go get it. Why? All I can offer is that the euphoria is so calm and pleasant and comforting, and I'm just a weak human. When I think about all the life I have wasted and continue wasting on this, I get disgusted with myself. But if I stay sober, pretty soon the world gets cold and ugly, nothing is interesting or worth doing.

So, that's addiction too. Even though most people manage to smoke pot at length without ever experiencing this kind of dependance on it. With cigarette, however, I managed to kick my 20-30 smoke a day habit cold turkey and haven't smoked one in 9 months. While I still fiend for one relatively often, I don't find myself having that much trouble keeping it under control.

Addiction is a part of *you*. It is whatever "drug of choice" makes the cold, empty and weak parts of you warm full and happy. That goes for physical as well as mental addiction.


--
Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
[ Parent ]
I'm not so sure you're right... (none / 0) (#112)
by Wateshay on Mon Feb 18, 2002 at 12:46:33 PM EST

that caffeine is as non-addictive as you think. I remember reading somewhere that caffeine actually had about the same psychological addiction level as cocaine, but was less physically addictive (or maybe it was the other way around). This doesn't completely invalidate your claim that cocaine is more addictive, but it is a point to ponder. For those who care, yes I am addicted to caffeine. I freely admit it. If I don't drink caffeine for long stretches, I get headaches. Psychologically, I have a hard time not drinking caffeine. On the other hand, the drawbacks to being addicted are not so great as to motivate me to attempt quiting (I think about it every now and then, but can never quite convince myself to actually do it). Fortunately, my addiction is nowhere near as bad as the guy who wrote this article.

"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."


[ Parent ]
Or Taxed (3.00 / 3) (#27)
by Jebediah on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 05:48:41 AM EST

If they weren't illegal and merely restricted (like alcohol and tobacco) the government would just put a sin tax on it to "save the children" from the horrors of caffeine.

I highly doubt this would ever happen. Coke, Pepsi, et al. are very powerful and would lobby like mad while doing everything possible to keep this from coming about. And face it, the gov really doesn't do anything but give big business blowjobs for free right now.

[ Parent ]
I'm not saying it will happen, but... (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by Refrag on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:38:08 AM EST

...when I was reading your comment the last paragraph just jumped out at me. Here's my edit:
I highly doubt this would ever happen. RJR, Philip Morris, et al. are very powerful and would lobby like mad while doing everything possible to keep this from coming about. And face it, the gov really doesn't do anything but give big business blowjobs for free right now.
Yet, it is slowly happening. And yet I'm still with you on caffeine. I don't see it ever being regulated in my time, nor do I want it to be. I'd much rather be able to pay $1 for 20oz of Dr. Pepper than $25. This is also why I think all drugs should be legalized. I'd much rather people be able to get totally fucked up for $10, rather than stealing from me, or subjecting themselves to depraved acts for the junk.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

It actually makes me think of things differently.. (4.00 / 2) (#45)
by TheCaptain on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 09:13:05 AM EST

For all of the people who argue that so many other things SHOULD be legal...look at how many do actually screw themselves up on what already is. Tobacco, alcohol, caffine...if you think any substance habit you can think of has NO serious con's...your kidding yourself in a bad way.

Simply outlawing things might not be the best solution either...but I can see why there would be a great deal of concern. Way too many people can't seem to be responsible enough with what they already have...either on purpose or otherwise.

[ Parent ]
The point is... (4.00 / 2) (#48)
by priestess on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 09:57:31 AM EST

The point is that being seriously screwed up on Caffine or Booze or Cigarettes doesn't really make all that much difference. Sure, you get the headaches and the shakes and the lung cancer or whatever but you don't go out and steal or prostitute yourself to get a hold of these drugs. You don't loose respect for the law and law enforcement because they're not busting you for taking the drugs you need. The police aren't corrupted by the offer of huge sums of money because to make huge sums of money from Cola you have to be a multinational giant, not some suitcase-full-of-drugs win or die nutcase in an airport.

Watchmaker here has an addiction problem but he hasn't seriously hurt anyone because that addiction is easily saited. When he decided he'd had enough of his addiction he quit. This is a typical pattern with legal drugs and could also be the pattern with Cocaine or Heroin or Amphetamines or Pot.

Making a drug Illegal doesn't stop people taking it, doesn't stop people making it, doesn't stop people selling it or buying it. It just makes addiction to those drugs more socially harmfull and makes the markets for them impossible to regulate or control while giving the criminal element an easy supply of cash!.
Pre.........

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
What about... (none / 0) (#60)
by MicroBerto on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:27:43 AM EST

I don't know about you, but I've heard of alcoholic prostitutes that do just that. And beggars can enter this category as well. But for the most part, you're probably right.

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]
Hummm (none / 0) (#62)
by priestess on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:34:22 AM EST

Well, you know, some prostitutes end up doing it so they can get enough FOOD to eat and some actually enjoy the work and do it for kicks.

Speaking as a borderline alcoholic myself, I'd do without rather than get involved in the whole blow-jobs in phonebox's scene but maybe that's what makes me borderline I guess. I've begged for beer before, but only off of friends who probably wanted a drinking companion anyway. Where's the line between beggins and just asking anyway?

Pre............

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
hmmm (none / 0) (#113)
by BLU ICE on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 07:45:24 PM EST

Where's the line between beggins and just asking anyway?

It's when you beg from people you don't know. What you do is called "mooching." :-p

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Try ephedra without caffeine. (4.00 / 3) (#4)
by la princesa on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 08:03:20 PM EST

There are diet pills/fatburners that contain just ephedra (as ma huang) and no caffeine. You may have to check a lot of bottles, but there is always at least one caffeine-free offering. Ephedra is MUCH stronger per dose than caffeine. The ratio is something like 20mg ephedra/400mg caffeine. Ephedra comes in 10 or 20mg pills generally. If your body primarily needs the stimulant effect, you could likely get away with one or two 10mg pills per day and over a couple of months wean down to half a 10mg pill a day or something similar. I've got ADD tendencies and I found that ephedra offers the same focus as caffeine without giving one caffeine nausea. Don't know if you have ADD or not, but ephedra without caffeine would be a smaller amount of chemicals in your body than all that mountain dew and you'd still have the same alertness benefits.

Ephedra is addictive... (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by Parity on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:35:08 AM EST

Ephedrine (and hence ephedra) is an extremely addictive drug; not that caffeine isn't. They're both powerful central nervous system stimulants. While I regularly use ephedra as a decongestant when I'm sick, I would never recommend taking it on an ongoing basis. (Well, okay, as a substitute for caffeine, is six of one, half a dozen of the other, but it's trading one dependency for another.)

Parity None


[ Parent ]
Further... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by Elkor on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:44:25 AM EST

If you are at a health food store, ask the clerk for caffeine free stuff. If they ask why, explain that you are allergic to caffeine. There are some people out there like that, and while it isn't a rampant problem, it is easier to accept than "I get addicted to it easily."

Good luck with life!

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Careful (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by dagoski on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:32:48 PM EST

I may be mistaken so do your own research. Anyway, ephedra from what I've heard is not something to be played with. I dunno what the same does is or if there is one, but quite a few people have given themselves heart attacks from this stuff. Granted, such folks were taking large doses. If you're wanting to lose weight, I'd avoid diet pills and all that. The best method is to adopt a healthy diet and exercise.



[ Parent ]
Whoah there! (none / 0) (#99)
by mindstrm on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 06:50:55 PM EST

Ephedra (Ephedrine), though a stimulant, is NOT a CNS stimulant like caffeine; it acts on the adrenal system if I remember correctly.

It's the chief ingredient in 'mormon tea' (mormons don't drink caffiene), though only in small ammounts.

Fat burning pills contain Ephedra/Caffeine/ASA (I think) because together they cause some condition in the body that burns fat. Ephedra by itself won't do this.

Ephedra is commonly sold as a 'Herbal Decongestant', as it has the same effects as Pseudephedrine, the ingredient you will find in the vast majority of cold pills. (It's also the chemical precursor used in manufacturing illegal amphetamines)

Ephedrine is very hard on your kidneys, especially if taken in repeat doses. Taking 4 or 5 ephedra pills to stay awake works wonders, especially for driving, as it doesn't make you have to piss every 15 minutes.... but would be a very harmful substitute for caffiene in the long run.

As for the 'ammount' required.. that's hardly relevant. Comparing the amount of 'chemicals' is meaningless when those chemicals have completely different methods of action.

Stick to the caffiene.


[ Parent ]
Perceptions (4.20 / 5) (#5)
by yosemite on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 08:20:00 PM EST

Why do people laugh knowingly with someone who says "I can't function without my coffee", when they would huddle in hushed, concerned, conspiratorial conversation about someone who said "I just can't function without my Scotch."?
It wasn't that long ago that alcoholism was viewed with a wink and a nod, too. Some time, check out the old "Mary Tyler Moore" shows. The ones where Lou Grant keeps a bottle of booze in his desk, and comes into work hung-over. It's played for laughs.

Beyond that, I see two things that differentiate alcohol and caffeine:

  • Most people just don't seem to find the effects of caffeine as debilitating or as addictive as you do.
  • When people to get hopped up on caffeine and go crash their car, it's usually blamed on sleep depravation and not the caffeine.
The bottom line is this: it doesn't matter what society's attitude towards the substance of your addiction is. Until you realize that "just a little won't hurt" is a dirty lie, you'll never be free.

--
[Signature redacted]

Hmmm. (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by watchmaker on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 08:40:52 PM EST

I fully agree about the "Wink and a nod" comment about alcohol. It wasnt too long ago that Valium was "Mother's Little Helper."

I'm not really expecting some great societal outcry against caffeine. My point here was bemoaning the fact that society ignores most addictive behaviors other than the ones that M.A.D.D. and Nancy Reagan try to make news with.

Because many people have addictive tendencies toward caffeine, even if not similar to my own rather extreme case. Anyone who just cant wake up in the morning without their coffee is partaking of caffeine (and all the other opiate-derivative coffee substances) because it's uncomfortable not to. In my book, that's addictive behavior at a small scale.

[ Parent ]

Sure but... (3.00 / 6) (#10)
by rusty on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 09:02:19 PM EST

Alcohol is poison. As far as we know, caffeine is not. Both are (or can be) very addictive, but there's very, very little evidence that caffeine is harmful for most people. Some studies indicate that it can stress the heart more then normal, which seems fairly obvious, and that it should be avoided by people with heart problems. But alcohol will undoubtedly kill you, one way or another, at addict-type consumption levels.

Some people react to chemicals differently, though. My mother developed a pretty severe caffeine allergy in her thirties. It gives her terrible headaches (not withdrawal, but immediately upon consumption). I suspect your experience is slightly unusual, but not very far from how I feel if I haven't had any coffee yet after being awake for a few hours. I haven't tried to "detox", and don't really plan to. I guess the difference is that I am pretty stable, once I've had a cup or two. It doesn't seem to have a cycle of increasing dependence and destructive behavior.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Actually, no. (4.66 / 3) (#16)
by John Miles on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 11:45:38 PM EST

Alcohol is poison. As far as we know, caffeine is not.

To paraphrase a famous challenge issued by a nuclear scientist to Ralph Nader: I'll drink 1000X the amount of pure ethanol as you can consume in pure caffeine.

The difference between alcohol and caffeine is that you'll be dead before I'm too drunk to drive.

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

Actually, I should have checked first... (4.50 / 2) (#17)
by John Miles on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 11:51:00 PM EST

That "1000X" comment should read "10X," assuming a human LD50 for caffeine of 150 mg/kg. Caffeine is a little less nasty than I thought, which comes as quite a relief to me and my six-pack-a-day habit. :)

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
The lethal dose is quite low (none / 0) (#114)
by BLU ICE on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 07:53:50 PM EST

But I wouldn't condone heavy caffeine use. For someone with a healthy cardio system, moderate amounts of caffeine aren't going to be a problem at all. In fact, many studies have shown some anti-oxidant benefits of caffeine.

However, taking a completely off-the-wall amount on a regular basis (I'm talking a lot. Like several pots of coffee a day. I know one guy who does this.) is harmful.

If I ingest 2 pots of coffee a day, I'm getting 20 cups. That's 2 grams of caffeine over a wide period of time. Far, far below the lethal dose. It's still very harmful though, in the long term. Harmful dose is way below the lethal dose.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

What're you doing here? (2.50 / 2) (#35)
by wiredog on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:08:07 AM EST

Aren't you on a honeymoon? What does the Honey think of you getting online and spending time with us, when you should be with her?

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
OT, but (3.00 / 1) (#85)
by dasunt on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 03:14:36 PM EST

I always told my girlfriend that there will be no computers on the honeymoon. ;)

More to the point, I believe that the time my "sins" become a burden, rather then a pleasure, I stop. Caffiene right now is a pleasure. Alcohol is a doubleplusgood pleasure when I have the time. Occasionally, if I know I'm going have to stay up late alot, I'll quit caffiene cold-turkey before, have a headache for a day, then stay off the caffiene for a week or two, so that the next time I drink it its more potent.

Btw, since alot of these threads seem to concern carbonated beverages, why doesn't anyone mention the sugar content and the acidity. Teeth don't like it one bit, and I have gotten sick just from the sugar alone (about 3 2l bottles a day will do it). OTOH, carbonated beverages can't touch coffee, or expresso. A shot of expresso is nasty for the caffiene (thus another doubleplusgood for me).

Anyhow, just my rambling $.02

[ Parent ]

Espresso, not expresso (3.00 / 1) (#86)
by Saxifrage on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 03:21:35 PM EST

I hate to sound like a curmudgeon, but -- it's 'espresso', not 'expresso'. Most people, especially Americans, have issues with that. I used to make the same mistake. At any rate, I had the equivalent of a near-death experience online with a European, years ago, on the topic, and have never made the same error since.

"I may disagree vehemently with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it." - Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire
[ Parent ]
this still happens. (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by sar on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:40:15 AM EST

I used to have a boss who bought me lunch whenever I came to work hungover.

Most of the company would have scheduled outings, with the ceo picking up the tab, that sometimes lasted till work the next day. Some of the employees regularly stepped out for a beer or two every moring at 10am.

The company shut down and I got hired by sombody's drinking buddy who actualy had a wetbar in his office.

old-school style salesman still work this way, in a sense, they belive drinking is part of the job.
and like to do most of their business over drinks.

[ Parent ]
Different types of addiction (3.40 / 5) (#6)
by mmcc on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 08:23:11 PM EST

The difference is simply who i've met. I have met several alcoholics, and a few (hard) drug users, but of all the coffee drinkers i've met, never once have i seen someone who couldn't take their coffee. I've never thought about coffee as a truely addictive substance.

That being said, the human mind can be addicted to lots of stuff. I've met a sex addict... he was a married guy who needed to go out and pick up very regularly (eg. every night) to make himself feel good.

IMO, addiction alone doesn't stuff up one's life. Addicts already think they have a stuffed up life, and their addiction just make things worse for them.

Have you every met another caffine addict?



me (3.50 / 2) (#11)
by Refrag on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 10:17:30 PM EST

I'm a caffine addict. I've tried to quit several times, but it just doesn't seem to work. I'm hopped up on the shit right now. I had a large frapaccino in the morning and a 12oz Dr. Pepper for lunch. I'm still nervous and twitchy, and I think that getting back on caffine has brought back my headaches.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Headaches, eh? I got that too... (4.00 / 2) (#13)
by crcerror on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 10:42:28 PM EST

I'm still nervous and twitchy, and I think that getting back on caffine has brought back my headaches.

Actually, I've "quit" smoking several times. Each for the period of several months (I always go back 'cause I have a few drinks at some party and am to tipsy to realize that "one won't hurt" is retarded) but right after I start up, I get the worst headaches. Like splitting headaches that are almost worse than when I quit. Funny, eh? What almost seemed unbearable when you quit... is quite tolerable when you've got your fix again. ::grin::

It's interesting to hear that someone gets that too. I've described it to fellow smokers and they never say that happens to them.

Out of curiousity, have you wondered what that is? I always considered it a way the body tries to prevent you from regaining the addiction.



[ Parent ]
Frapaccino? (4.42 / 7) (#23)
by pwhysall on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 02:01:57 AM EST

What the fuck happened to COFFEE-flavoured coffee?

:-p
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]

it is! (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by Refrag on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:49:38 AM EST

It is coffee flavored. I order a "large coffee frappuccino" from Starfucks and they give me a "venti Coffee Frappuccino® ". I drink it because it's cold. Man, I wish they had those in decaf.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 0) (#98)
by Rainy on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 02:37:25 PM EST

In context of this story, this kind of sounds like "What the fuck happened to crystal meth-flavoured crystal meth??!!" :-)
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Refrag: (none / 0) (#115)
by BLU ICE on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 07:56:41 PM EST

That's interesting. It's weird how you drink such a small amount of caffeine and get addicted. I drink way more than that. (A pot of coffee over the day and a 12 oz diet coke for lunch) and I have no addiction problems, save for a little bit of lethargy if I don't get my coffee.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

me (too) (4.00 / 3) (#24)
by depok on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 03:25:24 AM EST

During my short life I have built up a nasty addiction. Oh, maybe how did I get it? Well, in my early teens I was a social drinker, together with family (spent at time a lot of time with an aunt who was addicted too). During college years i needed it to stay awake/get my eyes a bit open. The coffee during the dotcomrage was for relaxing & the coffee room was the place for fast meetings.
When i get up, i have to drink at least 3 expressos (4 needed to feel good). When i arrive an hour later at work, i begin drinking mugs of coffee (about 6 during the day). After lunch, also need my shot, otherwise my stomac feels troubled.
In the weekend, when i get up later, i must have asap my 3 cups of coffee, even before getting dressed, otherwise I'm victim to pinching headaches (and start drinking coffee at that moment is too late, the pain stays)
Two years ago i went on a holiday, and had no real good (caffeine) coffee, and I felt like a slob, not motivated, getting up was a drag. After a week I could cope with that and I felt better, but when I came home again, I was back on the caffeine-track in no time.
So yes, caffeine is a drug, and stopping is very hard. But for the moment it isn't really killing me (and i'm trying to build it down).

koen

death has a thousand faces, they all look familiar to me
[ Parent ]

Caffeine addiction is no joke (4.00 / 5) (#14)
by cyclopatra on Wed Aug 29, 2001 at 10:48:38 PM EST

...I voted this +1 despite some rambling because I'm sick of people who don't drink caffeine regularly (or are lucky enough to somehow not get addicted to it) laughing when I describe the withdrawal symptoms I go through by...oh, starting around 10am or so - if I don't get my caffeine. People who haven't experienced it honestly think the rest of us are joking, or exaggerating.

Now, I'm not claiming that this is like quitting, say, heroin, but it's sure a lot more physically painful than quitting smoking was for me. When I quit smoking, I got jumpy, a little achy in the mornings, hungry, and I had a bit of a cough. That was it. When I tried to cut out the caffeine, I had splitting headaches, cluster stylie, blurred or double vision, nausea, the shakes, and generally felt like I was going to die. But no one who hasn't been through it believes that caffeine, that wonder drug, can do all this to you.

On another note, it seems as if there's something *else* in coffee that my body craves - I can drink Coke all day long, but if I don't have at least a cup of coffee, I still get headaches. Anyone have any guesses?

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
amen (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by birdsong on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 01:09:40 AM EST

Every single morning before school I have to have a cup of tea. I think out of all the days I was in school last year, (180 legal days - 14 missed = 164 days) I can only one day where I didn't have tea because I was in such a rush for some bizarre reason. 10:00, maybe even earlier rolls around and it didn't take me long to figure out why my head was pounding. Same thing happens in the summer (i.e. now, but not for long) before work. My schedule is pushed back an hour, so I'm at work at roughly nine. Now, some mornings I like a good cup of coffee and luckily Dunkin' Donuts is directly across the street from my office. But I can't wait 'til 9:00 to have it any more. If I want coffee, I have to have some caffeine before I leave the house... or flu like symptoms will set in. Then around 12:00 or 1:00 I'm already do for a bawls... heh.

[ Parent ]
coffee Vs Coke (3.50 / 2) (#28)
by dandlion on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 06:10:12 AM EST

I believe that there are other drug-like chemicals in coffee which probably are not added to Coke. One is called theophylline which belongs to the same class of drugs as caffeine (methylxanthines) - they have similar effects. There are probably others present in coffee too.

[ Parent ]
Theobromine (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by mrgoat on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 07:49:26 AM EST

Is the other biggie in coffee. Theophlylline and Theobromine are in much lower concentrations than the caffeine though. The ratio in tea is different, there's usually less caffeine, but more theophylline and theobromine.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Chocolate (2.66 / 3) (#73)
by persimmon on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:44:42 PM EST

Chocolate has various caffeine-esque-acting theobromides too. Though if you're going to go that route, I'd suggest a nice dark bittersweet.


--
It's funny because it's a blancmange!
[ Parent ]
RE: Chocolate (3.00 / 1) (#81)
by mrgoat on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 02:24:56 PM EST

I've heard a lot about chocolate and the chemicals in it, and no one has ever agreed on what's in it. If you happen to have some links handy, I'd appreciate them. Otherwise it'll be awhile until I go google it. One thing's for certain though: It sure does taste good in a cappuccino. ;p (Or any coffee for that matter.)

You can buy a mocha varietal at some gourmet coffee shops that contains chocolate, but not just added. They [the farmers] grow the coffee plants near chocolate plants to get cross pollination.

I think if you are eating enough chocolate to get the caffeinated feeling though, you got some problems. (Specifically money, good chocolate can be expensive!)

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Productivity (4.28 / 7) (#18)
by valency on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:05:58 AM EST

The legality of a drug has nothing to do with addictivness, withdrawl, pleasure, or health hazards -- rather, it has everything to do with productivity. This is why doctors will prescribe SSRI's even to the people who don't need it (makes them more docile, cooperative).

As Terrence McKenna said,

Caffeine -- I hate to tell you this -- caffeine is a fairly dangerous drug. It isn't dangerous in that a cup of coffee will kill you, but a lifestyle built around caffeine is going to -- you're not going to live to be a hundred years old, or even seventy, unless you are statistically in the improbably group. Why is caffeine not only tolerated but exalted? Because, boy, you can spin those widgets onto their winkles just endlessly without a thought on your mind. It is *the* perfect drug for modern industrial manufacturing. Why do you think caffeine, a dangerous, health destroying, destructive drug, that has to be brought from the ends of the earth, is enshrined in every labor contract in the Western world as a right? The coffee break -- if somebody tried to take away the coffee break, you know, the masses would rise in righteous fury and pull them down. We don't have a beer break. We don't have a pot break. I mean, if you suggested, 'Well, we don't want a coffee break. We want to be a ble to smoke a joint at eleven,' they would say, 'Well, you're just some kind of -- you're a social degenerate, a troublemaker, a mad dog, a criminal.' And yet, the cost health benefit of those two drugs, there's no comparison. Obviously, pot would be the better choice. The problem is, then you're going to be standing there dreaming, rather than spinning the widgets onto the nuts. (laughter)



---
If you disagree, and somebody has already posted the exact rebuttal that you would use: moderate, don't post.

Well said. (none / 0) (#97)
by Rainy on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 02:14:08 PM EST

Is that the same terrence mckenna that wrote a great short story about Tibesti roman soldiers? He's right on the money, perhaps exaggerating a bit. Caffeine has a very subtle effect, apart from giving you energy, and that 'buzz' is masked by well-known stimulating effect. In a way, you could say that it's far more insidious than crystal meth or heroin or anything else - with these drugs, you *know* they change you, caffeine sneaks up from behind. I call it the fake energy effect - when you had a good night's sleep, physically healthy, and have something interesting to do, you have a very different kind of energy than the caffeine buzz. Usually you don't notice the difference, though, because you're too busy - that's why you got high on it in the first place, you don't have the inclination to stop for a minute, concentrate and focus on how you *feel*. If you do it, you'll notice that energy that fills you has a jittery and unpleasant quality to it. In fact, that's part of caffeine's effect - it makes it hard to examine yourself.

I think the author of this story is very lucky to have such reaction to caffeine. Caffeine fucks him up, but doesn't fool him, like it did in college and like it does fool billions of people. Don't feel jealous of happy people with small bottles of coke.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

I relate too well, but with a different drug... (4.33 / 9) (#19)
by kitznegari on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:37:55 AM EST

I stopped taking my antidepressant and my Ritalin at the same time about this time last week in an act of cold defiance (my mental rage said "I've been taking this medication for 6 months now, I'm not better yet, so I've decided that it's time to end this form of treatment")and I've been outrageously paranoid about everything and have been an emotional basketcase (we've had 4 fights in the last week because I keep popping off due to the lack of "impulse controlling" medicine)... and then that bottle of Ritalin is still out in the kitchen calling me should I want to go back on it if this doesn't work (fortunately I'm out of the antidepressant now, so I'd have to go and get a new prescription to start that again). I've been tempted to split what's left of the prescription pills in half with a knife and take half every time I get that "ludicrous high" that comes with hyperactivity... the one that makes you feel like you can't calm down or control yourself, period, that your head might explode if you can't chill RIGHT NOW. It's like there's so much adrenaline pumping through your system that your head is pulsing and every sound is a scream. I'm not exaggerating to say that when I haven't had my medication I can hear someone crinkling a plastic bag for half a second and it will sound like a bolt of lightning going off over my head and I can't relax. What set me off today was that a local store was closing and my bf and I went to the sale, he came up behind me unexpectedly and clapped me on the back so hard that I nearly screamed... after that I couldn't chill at all and started to wish I had my Ritalin because every part of my body hurt from the tension and panic and everything else that was happening. It was as if the tint and volume of the entire universe had suddenly been turned up three notches too high.

The thing about Ritalin is that it starts working the second it hits your system, so it's kind of like caffine in the way that you *feel it* coming on. It's like taking a swig of pepsi after you haven't touched it all day and have been working like a dog. It's like friggin sex or something.

And there's also that paranoia and anxiety that come hand in hand with your detox experience. I couldn't count the times I've had a near-panic attack when a cop has pulled in behind me in traffic, panic to the point that I couldn't function properly... then to remember that I never felt that way when I properly took my Ritalin. Its terrifying to me that I've become dependant on stuff that keeps me from running a red light when I'm driving. I'm scared to drive now because I almost got us all killed the other day after not taking the stuff and becoming distracted musing over some smoke stacks on the hill and not seeing the the traffic light was red or that there were cars in the intersection.

The problem is that my ADHD wasn't this hard to manage before I started the Ritalin, I think. Now that I've had a taste of what it's like to have a "quiet brain"... a nice soft existance where you don't have to analyze things and where you don't have to care about every little detail... where it's okay if things go wrong and where you aren't anxious and worried and afraid all of the time... I wish I'd never taken the stuff because now I feel like I'm all messed up when I'm just plain old regular me.

If I hadn't said what the drug was someone might have guess I was talking about heroin. I really do feel that desperate at times though. I just sometimes really wish I had a half pill in my system so I wouldn't have to listen to my internal conversations; they're driving me fscking mad.

I guess my point was that I sympathize.

Ultimately I think you're doing the right thing by trying to stay away from it... but being there myself, I can only speculate.

Good luck. -kitz-
http://spinning_plates.tripod.com

my sympathies (2.50 / 2) (#22)
by core10k on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 01:46:11 AM EST

Force your boyfriend to give you a hug on my behalf - you really need it, ritalin or no.

[ Parent ]
You're still detoxing (3.50 / 2) (#33)
by wiredog on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:05:57 AM EST

IIRC, things like ritalin take more than a week to completely get out of the system. It gets better. Really.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
ADHD (4.00 / 4) (#47)
by watchmaker on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 09:33:25 AM EST

There was a piece in my original draft of this story that I ended up pulling. In it I said, essentially, the following.

Several years ago I was diagnosed with what the shrink described as a "Substantial Attention Deficit Disorder" after a battery of tests (which mostly involved hitting a button when one, but not two, dots appeared on a computer screen over the span of 40min.) At the time he remarked that he wouldnt have been surprised if I had trouble holding down a job (I dont) but was always amazed at the ability of Adults with ADD to adapt.

He also told me that he wasn't surprised that I had problems with caffeine. As others here have commented, Caffeine has a similar but much smaller effect on the brain as Ritalin. He said that he finds that many Adult ADD patients self medicate with caffeine without knowing why they do.

So this is the reason I entered my third phase of caffeine addiction. I decided to "self medicate" to get through a trying time in my life.

I pulled this text from the final story mainly to focus the message. ADHD is a touchy subject these days and causes arguments. Those that have ADD become comrades in arms against those who don't believe ADD exists. I didn't want the discussions about this story to devolve into bickering about "ADD vs. Just-Plain-Lazy".

I've often said that with 12 consecutive months of clarity I could set my life up so that the ADD wasnt a factor. I still believe that. But I've hesitated to go to a shrink again to get medication like Ritalin or Dexedrine because of worries about becoming dependant. I worried about becoming addicted to clarity.

As for the anti depressants, take them. Honestly. My experience with relatives on anti depressant drugs like Zoloft or Paxil are that the person taking the drugs dont realize the change. Most people arent cognizant of being depressed, and hence, arent cognizant of being not depressed. But the people around that person notice the difference.



[ Parent ]

ADHD (none / 0) (#107)
by reward on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 08:56:57 AM EST

I was really interested to see this part of the caffeine addiction mentioned. I too have been diagnosed ADHD, and my wonderful consulting shrink has talked about the self medication with caffeine (as well as other things of course...alcohol, nicotine). At this point, I am taking my ritalin, and it makes a tremendous difference in clarity and calmness. Yeah, so I get addicted to clarity. Everybody around me seems to notice the difference when I'm on ritalin. I do better at work...more focussed for doing tasks that aren't quite as exciting. I find that I need to drink less coffee. I smoke fewer cigarettes. My son says that I "hear" him better when I'm on my meds.

The anti-depressants help too, mostly with anxiety that comes with not being able to focus well enough, not being able to read all the cues around me, not worrying that people are going to find something that I missed. The world is a much better place with my meds.

There are a couple of downsides to ritalin. I;m taking 1/2 tab every 2 (yes 2) hours. I've set up my visor to beep me every 2 hours of every day of my life. Sigh. Every night, I have a rebound effect that takes about .5 hours, where I'm very disoriented, and basically useless to do anything at all. As a result, I may end up having to change to dexedrine. In and of itself, I don't find ritalin addictive though. It helps keep me from worse addictive stuff.

Basically, though the choice is yours, I did want to point out that being addicted to clarity is not really such a bad thing at all. It might even help with the caffeine thing too.

[ Parent ]

I feel a bit better about myself now (3.00 / 4) (#21)
by pfaffben on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 01:39:45 AM EST

I'd been feeling guilty about drinking as many as 1 or 2 cans of Coke a day, although some days I don't drink any at all. Now that I've read the comments here, I know that that's almost nothing.

At least someone's doing something ... (1.00 / 5) (#25)
by Herring on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 04:04:20 AM EST

...
I spilled spot remover on my dog. He's gone now.
Sounds very serious... (3.00 / 4) (#26)
by gordonjcp on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 05:04:11 AM EST

Wow. I never realised how so many people have problems with addiction.
I've often wondered about just how "normal" I am. All around me, people are having serious problems, and taking either prescribed drugs or illegal ones (or drinking). And here I am, no history of abuse, no addictions, about the right weight for my height (just under 6' tall - about average), no mental problems...
Does this mean I'm the most fscked-up person I know? It's all relative...

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


Yeah, you're fucked up! (none / 0) (#116)
by BLU ICE on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 08:07:11 PM EST

One of those freaks with no problems. :-p

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Water? (3.75 / 4) (#29)
by Jebediah on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 06:21:48 AM EST

Has anybody tried drinking a sufficient amount of water after their caffeine fix? I am thinking part of the pain caused by quitting might be from dehydration (kinda like alcohol). Water should keep the caffeine from absorbing quite as fast and would provide some hydration.

I have. (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by mrgoat on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:08:02 AM EST

I used to drink only two things, ever. Coffee (and it's other forms, cappuccino, espresso, latte, and all that stuff) and water. I did it because I knew caffeine is will dehydrate you.

I've been through all the caffeine addictions/withdrawals, near overdoses, and all that fun stuff. No joke, I've had enough in me to break out in a hard, cold sweat, turn pale, twitch uncontrollably, and stare at the ceiling, thinking (very rapidly of course) how interesting each minutia up there was. (that was a wicked fun too! except for the nausea.)

Water does help a lot. And like alchohol, so does having something in your stomach before you drink the coffee. Then again, dehydration hurts without the caffeine too.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

yeah, but I did it without any knowledge (3.50 / 2) (#36)
by Garc on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:17:22 AM EST

When I decided to try and stop drinking caffiene, Then I consciously cut down on the number of caffinated beverages I drank a day. Started at 8, and I decreased 1 every couple of days. I kept a bottle of water around me at all times. So when I craved coffee, or pop, I would try to force myself to drink that instead.

I'm not perfect now, sometimes I still feel tired, or out of it, and grab some coffee, but I can regularly go days, occasionally weeks without caffiene.

garc
--
Tomorrow is going to be wonderful because tonight I do not understand anything. -- Niels Bohr
[ Parent ]

Dehydration is a substantial part of this. (3.50 / 2) (#44)
by watchmaker on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 09:02:23 AM EST

I figured that out the first time I detoxed. By staying hydrated the first two times I managed to make it through in a week.

My third detox, however, the hydration didnt seem to help. I was still drinking between seven and eight 64oz glasses of spring water a day, with no relief.

[ Parent ]

8x64oz. glasses of water? (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by Killio on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:38:27 AM EST

You were drinking 8 gallons of water a day? That has to be hard on the urinary system...

[ Parent ]
now i'm glad I don't drink [caffeine] (3.33 / 3) (#30)
by dof on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 07:03:45 AM EST


My mothers a coffee addict - she must drink at least 10 mugs of the stuff per day if not more.... I always found it kind of funny that she had to have a cup of coffee before doing xyz (and the fuss she'd make if i tried to stop her)

Thanks to her, i've stayed away from drinking caffeinated stuff - which is actually quite good as when i have to stay up late coding, one can of coke wakes me up quite well....


linux .. hmm that's another addiction altogether :)

dof.
http://www.codepoets.co.uk
And I thought it was just me... (3.25 / 4) (#32)
by Nick Ives on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:00:45 AM EST

Last time I tried to quit caffeine I stopped after 4 days. The nausea, migraine & vomiting were just too much for me, the only reason I managed to last even that long was because I was living with some friends and you dont notice headaches so much when your drunk. Waking up the next day with what feels like the mother of all hangovers, curling up into a ball and moving only to get to the bathroom to vomit, and when your stomaches empty retch up bile, well, I've never had a hangover that bad. The way it all magically went away within 15 mins of getting more caffeine into my system was scary too, even though the back of my throat was burnt from all the vomit & bile and it hurt to drink, I just drank as much caffeine as I could to get rid of that awful feeling.

I searched the net trying to find info about caffeine detox, I read that in some people in extreme cases of caffeine dependancy then theres a possability that you might develop a severe migraine which lasts a week and apparently the number of people who actually vomit whilst on a caffeine detox is tiny. I managed to be one of those unlucky/addicted pple tho, which isnt surprising since I've been consuming caffeine pretty much non stop since the age of 6 and I'm now 19.

Which brings me onto my next point. There should be an age limit to caffeinated drinks. There is no way I'd have such a dependancy on caffeine if it wernt for the fact that I started drinking it at such a young age. My parents didnt stop me drinking it because after all, it was "only caffeine". More needs to be done to make people aware of the danger of caffeine. Prolonged caffeine use can cause problems like irritable bowel syndrome (which is of particular interest considering that bowel cancer is pretty much one of the fastest growing forms of cancer in recent years) and anxiety attacks. That was actually the main reason why I tried to detox on caffeine in the first place, my caffeine useage had reached a level whereby to keep off the migraine associated with caffeine withdrawl I had to keep myself at a level of caffeine that was basically toxic, I was constantly feeling anxious and having to take a piss every 15mins which isnt really fun at all.

In the short term I've achieved my goal of lowered caffeine intake, I used to easily go through 4-6L of Dr Pepper a day + 15-20 coffees. I've cut that down to a max of 2L of Dr Pepper with maybe a few cups of coffee every other day or so. I'm trying to work it down slowly, but the way im going about it I could just as easily be scaling back up again. I'm pretty sure that at some point in the future I'm going to have to go cold turky on caffeine once again, and I know its not going to be fun.

--
Nick
I wonder if my old giving up smoking trick of getting stoned for a week (using a bong, of course =P) would work with caffeine? Like, weed is good to help you stop vomiting, and it definatly cures headaches, hurm.....

Age limit - interesting (4.50 / 2) (#50)
by Herring on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:06:00 AM EST

Dunno if you guys can follow this link to a New Scientist article (I'm a subscriber so I get access to the archives). The gist of it is that adding caffeine to soft drinks has no measureable effect on taste, but you are getting young kids to take an addictive drug.

Quotes if the link doesn't work:

CAFFEINE in fizzy drinks is more likely to cause addiction than improve the taste of the products, new research on a small group of consumers suggests.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that only 2 out of 25 adult cola drinkers could distinguish between the taste of caffeinated and caffeine-free varieties. "This stands in sharp contrast to the claim some soft-drinks manufacturers make that they add caffeine purely for taste," says psychopharmacologist Roland Griffiths

"I'd like to see the soft-drinks industry come out of denial about the role of caffeine in their products," says Griffiths. "They're adding a mildly addictive drug, one which surely accounts for the fact that people drink far more sodas with caffeine than without."

Earlier research done by Griffiths and his colleagues found evidence of withdrawal symptoms in children denied their usual supply of caffeinated soft drinks.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Nope, can't follow. (3.00 / 1) (#51)
by mrgoat on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:23:45 AM EST

Which is really too bad. Being one of those 2 out of 25, I was interested in seeing the research. Out of the 25 closest people I know, nearly every one of them can taste the difference. Either we tend to congregate in groups, or I'm curious to see this research.

I hate it when people try and slip me a decaf soda. Caffeine by iteself has a very bitter taste, which I've always found easily recognizable.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Full article... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by Herring on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:44:06 AM EST

(actually not much more than I posted.)

Tasteless 19 Aug 00

If caffeine doesn't improve the flavour of soft drinks, what's it for?

CAFFEINE in fizzy drinks is more likely to cause addiction than improve the taste of the products, new research on a small group of consumers suggests.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that only 2 out of 25 adult cola drinkers could distinguish between the taste of caffeinated and caffeine-free varieties. "This stands in sharp contrast to the claim some soft-drinks manufacturers make that they add caffeine purely for taste," says psychopharmacologist Roland Griffiths, who led the study, which was partly funded by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Volunteers tasted 50 cups, drinking pairs of the same drink with and without caffeine added to the level of 0.1 milligram per millilitre-the standard level in fizzy drinks. Twenty-three of the test subjects could not spot the difference unless caffeine levels were raised to well above those approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

In 1998, Americans guzzled 15 billion cans of fizzy drinks, of which 70 per cent contained caffeine. Caffeine-free versions of Coca-Cola Classic and Pepsi, the two most popular soft drinks in the US, account for only 5 per cent of their sales.

"I'd like to see the soft-drinks industry come out of denial about the role of caffeine in their products," says Griffiths. "They're adding a mildly addictive drug, one which surely accounts for the fact that people drink far more sodas with caffeine than without." The US National Soft Drink Association condemned the study, saying: "too few people were tested, too little science was used." Coca-Cola refused to comment on the findings.

Earlier research done by Griffiths and his colleagues found evidence of withdrawal symptoms in children denied their usual supply of caffeinated soft drinks.

Marjorie Bowman, editor of the journal which published the research this week, notes the study is "not definitive proof". But given fizzy drinks are of little or no nutritional value, she argues caffeine should not be added to them if the practice promotes addiction.




Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Tasteless... (3.00 / 1) (#79)
by warpeightbot on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 02:10:13 PM EST

I hate it when people try and slip me a decaf soda. Caffeine by iteself has a very bitter taste, which I've always found easily recognizable.
I've gotta wonder about that... I can't tell any difference between a good premium cup of high-test coffee and a good premium cup of decaf. Zippo. Nada. But I can tell the difference in Coca Cola Classic and Caffiene-Free Coke.

I've been hearing for years now about how Big Tobacco puts stuff like chocolate in thier produce ostensibly to make it even more addictive than it already is... I wonder if the folks over on North Avenue are fscking with the gold-can stuff in order to make us go back to the Real Thing?

The world wonders....

[ Parent ]

Well then (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by mrgoat on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 02:38:26 PM EST

I can also taste the difference between a Sumatra Mandheling varietal coffee and a Black and Tan blend, (half Sumatra Mandheling, half Timor) from my local roaster. (Both are indonesian, dark, full bodies coffees. Try a Sumatra vs. a Costa Rica, and enyone can taste the difference) I'm also a bit of an gourmet and entusiast when it comes to coffee.

There are a few ways of taking the caffeine out of a coffee bean as well, and depending on the method, they can do a very good job at not changing the taste. (I think there's one that has to do with pressurized CO2 that does a real good job, but I'm not sure on that point.)

Who's making your high test vs. your decaf? Are they columbian beans? Supremo, or Arabica? The acid content in some varietals does a good job of covering the caffeine, and arabica beans have about half the caffeine concentration of supremo beans. (Remind me later for a link if you want one, I have some good info on my home computer. )

Of course, these facts may have nothing to do with why we taste the difference in *soda*. My guess, is that the caffeine free version may also be the diet version of the soda, in which case it's the sugar that is replaced with [insert this weeks popular cancer causing sugar substitute].

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

A thought (4.40 / 5) (#37)
by jd on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:19:26 AM EST

There are plenty of people who will willingly argue that "caffeine is non-addictive" and "perfectly safe".

The only "accepted" complaints, with respect to caffinated drinks, are usually in respect to other hazards. Indian tea - the stuff the English drink by the bucketfull - will eventually cause gall stones, for example.

Caffeine's effects on medicines is also often side-lined. Even a trace of caffeine will negate medicines such as lithium. This can make life really interesting for the bipolar.

IMHO, the biggest problem is with the cultural need to seem to be the biggest and the baddest. As Olympic athletes discover on a regular basis, it's hard to be either, when the ones you're competing with are loaded with performance enhancers.

Sure, those "enhancers" will turn the body into something from Night Of The Living Dead. Eventually. In the meantime, though, those who cheat -do- "succeed", by society's standards.

You can't ban coffee. King Charles tried that, in England, when the English Unions met in Coffee Houses. (That's one reason tea became so popular.) You can't ban caffeine, it exists in -some- quantity just about everywhere.

What you -can- do is to start small. Start by not having caffinated sodas in the house. If you're a teacher, how about a school project on it? Inventer or Chemistry expert? Maybe you might want to think about those 1800's recipies for treating alchoholism by making alchohol unprocessable by the body, and whether something similar exists for caffeine. I'm sure there'd be some interest.

It's not possible to change the world, overnight. Even for K5 readers. But if -enough- people made even a tiny difference to their immediate world, then the world will end up changing itself.

Great Class Project Idea (4.00 / 2) (#70)
by dagoski on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:25:11 PM EST

Heh. Just imagine making an entire high school class detox all at once. And they say classroom violence is going down.



[ Parent ]
Lightweights :) (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by stinkwrinkle on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 08:53:46 AM EST

Coffee? Caffeinated beverages??

What's with kids today!? Aren't there any hardcore VivarinTM junkies around here?

I don't mean to make light of the author's problem. It sounds terrible. Yes, I get headaches for a couple of hours, 28 hours after my last fix. The lethargy is pretty bad for about a day. All in all, though, I like the time-shifting ability I get from caffeine. I would probably quit, or stay on a low maintenance dose, if withdrawal hit me like that. *shudder*

This is a really stupid article (1.89 / 28) (#46)
by theboz on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 09:26:58 AM EST

Only some pansy ass dork would write something like this. How dare you compare yourself to people that have real drug addictions who can not easily quit.

You just want pity and attention so you post an article and make it sound like you had some horrible experience. I've never heard of anyone being desperate enough for caffeine to go out and rob people. I've never heard of side effects of it like you would get from smoking crack. The government doesn't throw people in jail for having enough caffeine for themselves only.

This is typical of the "geek" crowd, who blows their experience out of proportion and acts overdramatic in order to make it seem like they have a life. This was your attempt at showing that you are a "reformed bad-boy" type but it isn't working. All you have done is proceeded to make yourself look like a moron.

The only pity you get from me is that Mr. T "I pity the fool!" kind. This article was really stupid and I regret that I read through it searching for a shred of something to make it worthwhile. The fact that it made it to the front page only shows how stupid the average k5 user is.

Stuff.

Heh (3.33 / 6) (#56)
by priestess on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:51:52 AM EST

What's a real drug addiction exactly? Does nicotine count? How about Dope? Is Sugar addictive?

I've never heard of anyone being desperate enough for caffeine to go out and rob people.
Caffine is legal and hence costs about what, fifty cents/30 pence a hit? Nobody has to rob anybody of 30P. Lots of beggars have asked me for 50P for a cup of tea though and I guess enough people say 'yeah' that you don't have to force 'em.
I've never heard of side effects of it like you would get from smoking crack.
Just because you haven't heard of something it doesn't exist? You have an article here that does describe some withdrawal symptoms and you just ignore it and dismiss it. There are plenty of mentions all over the Network about caffine withdrawal. Here's one in the FAQ from a coffee retailer (so imagine how biased that is). If you can't be bothered to click on a link (or more likely you'll refuse because you might see something that would make you change your mind) it says in part:
Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported.

The government doesn't throw people in jail for having enough caffeine for themselves only.
Which means what exactly? That it's easier to be a caffine addict because Caffine isn't illegal basically. It sounds a little like you support legalisation of all drugs but I'm sure you don't because I've heard your voice before, the extreme reaction against Caffine having any health problems associated with it what so ever, the appeal to Government Authority, the comparisons to Crack. You're one of those prohibitionists who are themselves addicted to their 'Safe' drug and won't hear anything said against it while believing all kinds of madness about Pot and LSD. Oh well, I'm sure nobody took you seriously from your tone alone.

Pre............

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
My faith in humanity is restored. (4.00 / 10) (#57)
by watchmaker on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:55:12 AM EST

As I read the comments to my article this morning I noticed an odd trend. They were all neutral to positive with none really inflammatory. This wasn't the K5 I knew. Where was the Straw Man? Where was the blind hatred? Where were the responses that attacked the person while ignoring the message?

Thankfully we have TheBoz, and now I can truly feel like a real K5 author.

Let's see... "...pansy ass dork...", Good start. Always start with the name calling, that always makes your message seem so much more emphatic.

"You just want pity...", good, good. Try and get out there exactly how I feel, even though you aren't me, haven't met me, haven't spoken to me, and don't have a clue about why I do anything. That's a good diversionary tactic that will put me on the defensive and crying pitifully about the true reasons (The "Pansy Ass" reasons, one can assume) I wrote this piece.

"I've never heard of anyone being desperate enough for caffeine..." ahhh finally. My favorite part of "discourse" on K5. The venerable Straw Man. This is always a good course to take when you dont have anything, you know, relevant to say. Let me translate for the rest of the class. Essentially, TheBoz here makes the claim that since caffeine addiction isn't as bad as crack addiction, I'm wrong for making any comparison. Whereas had he taken the time to read down the comments a bit, he'd have seen this comment. (Super Secret Bonus: That comment also reveals the "Pansy Ass" reason I wrote the article.)

"...geek crowd..." good, assign me to a stereotype, that makes me easier to attack later.

"...reformed bad-boy..." that was obviously my exact intent because, you know, all the cool kids are in painful detox.

"All you have done is proceeded to make yourself look like a moron." YES! two points. This is called a bookend. You've surrounded your "content" with personal insults. Well played.

"The only pity you get from me..." ahh, you've seen through me. I become sexually aroused when faceless people digitally post about their pity for me. That was my true "pansy ass" reason for the whole article.

"The fact that it made it to the front page only shows how stupid the average k5 user is. Whoa, double whammy. I really must commend you on this little nugget. this accomplishes two things.

  1. It insults the K5 readership at large, effectively putting them on the defensive and weakening them if any further comments arrive.
  2. It slides under the radar with the concept that if you, TheBoz, don't think a subject is valid, it has no place on a site such as K5.

See, K5 is, at its core, a discussion forum. Subjects are broached, discussions held. It is not, however, a place where there has to be a 100% consensus that everyone wants to discuss a certain issue. One of the neato whiz-bang things about web sites is that you aren't forced to read every single page. Don't think a subject is worthy of your time? Fantastic! Don't participate. I personally skip most discussions about Open Source, Linux, DMCA, Sklyarov, etc. because I can't tolerate the signal to noise ration. So very few people have anything helpful to say, so they post long dogmatic diatribes. Like the man said, "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

As I watched my story wend its way through the submission queue, I noticed something odd. Right before I went to bed, the story had 100+ votes, and 9 of them were -1. TheBoz was one of those.The count stood at 72. Many stories I see in the queue get hundreds and hundreds of votes before finally rising or falling. The +1's and -1's tend to even out as people argue. My story, by comparison, sailed right through. I took that to mean that I had succeeded, that there were people out there willing to discuss this issue. And guess what Sparky? That's all that's necessary. There were around 80 people who decided this was an issue they had some comments on. The fact that you didn't think it was a valid issue should have resulted in a click to the next story, or a clear concise description of why you thought I was wrong.

This is the sad truth about modern society, discourse is a dead art. I've made this point before. I would love nothing more than to have someone post a reply disagreeing with me, but doing so in an informed and controlled manner. Refute my facts, post new facts, etc. Give me an argument with some teeth.

As for you, TheBoz, comments such as yours remind me of children on a playground. Where the pat comeback for any situation is "you stink". Comments with no content but loads of vitriolic insults not only don't add value to the conversation, they make the poster (That's you) look like a childish, uninformed idiot with nothing valid to say.



[ Parent ]

It is an addiction (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by NoNeckJoe on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:00:00 PM EST

Just like any other addiction, it can be painful to break out of the destructive addictive cycle. He isn't cheapening the pain that other addicts go through. To the contrary, he is showing how easy it is to become addicted to something that is perfectly legal. Look at what he describes; crippling withdrawl symptoms, massive mood swings, paranoia, sleepeless nights. These are all real, and affect him and his family deeply.

I too am addicted to caffeine. Although I don't suffer to the same depth as he describes, quitting cold turkey makes me very sick. I lose my temper quickly, get a horrible case of the shits, become sensitive to light, and wind up with a 24 hour migrane. For at least a week I will be fatigued and cranky. I don't drink that much coffee, either. 12 oz. of coffee a day. But I need it, and can not function in any rational way without it. The short term effects of caffeine addiction are not as dramatic as alcohol or herion addiction, but that are still there.

The crazy thing about addiction, no matter what the addiction is to, is that you have to live with it every day, whether you are on the wagon or not. Every day at some point an addict has to choose to take their drug, or not to take it. The slightest amount of stress can set off cravings that take a herculean effort to overcome. Some people are more resistant to addiction than others. Count yourself lucky if you are, and give the guy some credit for struggling with what is real to him, even if it seems cheap to you.

Finally, to leave you with something to think about; caffeine is on the list of drugs banned by the IOC.

[ Parent ]

Let's Try an Experiment (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by dagoski on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:15:06 PM EST

Some people think the article is nothing more than a pathetic diary of a wuss. To those nay-sayers, let me propose a modest experiment: First, keep a log of the caffeinated drinks or foods--Penguin mints for example--you consume. Do it for a week or two. Now, just stop. Cold turkey. As you go through the process we'll call detox for consistency, keep a journal of both your moods and your overall physical feelings. Oh, and record your sleep paterns too.

I've gotten off of caffeine a couple of times before and each time it's been real pain from both the psychological and physiological aspects. I get flu like symptoms for about a week, however I can make these go away by lifting weights or riding my bike. That's not the hard part. The hard part is the craving, and even worse the simple habits involved. Like smoking, there are some rituals associated with caffeine. With coffee, there's a lot of socialization around the communal coffee pot. Same with tea. I dunno what rituals those who do the dew have, but there's gotta be something. I'm back on the stuff simply because I really like the taste and ritual of coffee and tea, and figured if I have to have one bad habit, there are far, far worse ones to have.



[ Parent ]
This won't necessarily work. (3.50 / 2) (#83)
by mrgoat on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 02:53:48 PM EST

I get addicted and un-addicted to caffeine all the time. I've been up to needing my quadruple espresso in the morning to feel aware. Then I've moved on to needing more than that to even notice the caffeine. (i.e. feel "normal"). I've let it continue this way for a few months. (Hey, I like the taste of good high test espresso in the morning.)

Then, I've quit cold turkey from that level of addiction. My own particular physiology however, has determined that it's not going to give me anything more than a headache for a few hours the next day. No craving, no shakes, no wishing I had just one bitter cup. The day after that, I feel a little groggy in the morning. Next day, it's as if I'd never been addicted in the first place.

People that don't believe in the addictive powers of caffeine probably have even milder reactions than me to it.

Currently, I drink the good brew every morning ('bout 16 oz of it), and sometimes make a double cappuccino at night. If I miss a day, I barely notice.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

It depends upon your habits & daily intake (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by barzok on Sat Sep 01, 2001 at 11:20:00 PM EST

I drink a couple caffenated sodas each day at work (Diet Coke) but consume no caffeine on the weekends simply because I don't keep drinks, etc. in the house that contain the stuff. Not because I consciously avoid it - I just don't keep soda in the house (prefer beer and water), and I'm not a coffee drinker. I don't go through a "detox" every week and really, life isn't very different for me whether I consume it or not. Although I do sleep better on the weekends, but that could jsut be a side-effect of not having to think about work.

But take one of my friends in college. He was in the situation we have here. One year when he went home for the holiday break, he had to keep consuming Dew or whatever he could find just to mkae the 7-hour drive home. And had to slowly wean himself from the evil substance for the first 10 days of the break. Lather, rinse, repeat after every semester for 9 semesters. It became very obvious from his appearance and behaviour each semester when he'd gotten back on the caffiene train (after a while, he'd be making coffee with Water Joe, buying Red Bull or Mega Jolt by the case, etc.) and even to the point where I could tell how long ago his last fix was. He wasn't able to hold out more thana couple weeks before he'd be getting wired all the time.

It's evil, evil stuff.

[ Parent ]

Really? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by CrackElf on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 02:15:41 PM EST

I knew a guy once who quit cocaine, heroine, and a couple other drugs ... earned him a place in NA ... anyway, the guy could not give up caffinated(sp?) coffee. Just thought that you should know. Oh, yes, and he was a computer programmer, a 'geek'. Get over your stereotypes. They do not always work.

Being a geek does not prevent a person from also falling under other classifications. There are several sub-cultures that sport quite a few 'geeks'. I myself have been labeled perhaps a dozen things (including geek). Of course, I feel that only about half of them are correct.

The essay brought to light a topic that is not often enough discussed in the 'geek' community. There are plenty of semi-self-mocking jokes about caffeine and pizza with geeks, but there are very few frank and honest discussions about caffeine and the potential damage that it (as a drug) does to the community, even if it is not as detrimental as, say, heroine.

[ Parent ]
The effects of caffeine (4.00 / 3) (#49)
by Langley on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:04:13 AM EST

Here's an interesting page detailing the effect of certain drugs on a spider's ability to properly create their web. Caffeine seems particularly damaging.



A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. -Abraham Lincoln (Sixteenth President of the United States of America)
Laughing (1.00 / 1) (#52)
by mrgoat on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 10:32:03 AM EST

Yeah, well the spiders just don't know how to focus and harness their caffeine appropriately. Lets see a study on average productivity of programmers with caffeine vs. without. (I know, then we'd have to define some standards of productivity.)

I guess I just have a hard time comparing my own cognitive abilities to those of a spider.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Well... (4.00 / 1) (#59)
by Langley on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:25:33 AM EST

The spider study really has no bearing on how humans react to narcotics, in reality it just shows that caffeine is a good insecticide.

But it is always a neat image to show people when they claim that caffeine isn't powerful. I mean, hey, its legal so it can't be bad, right?



A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. -Abraham Lincoln (Sixteenth President of the United States of America)
[ Parent ]
I saw similar pictures... (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by Erbo on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:31:37 AM EST

in a nature book published by Time-Life. I notice, though, that the linked Web page leaves out one picture the book included...the picture of a web spun by a spider given LSD ("lysergic acid," as the book phrased it). Somehow, in spiders, acid induces concentration, and the resulting spiderweb looks even more "perfect" than the "normal" one (all the lines are laid out nice and even, etc.).

Of course, somehow, I don't think that NASA's gonna publicize that little factoid :-).

Eric
--
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

Possibly these images... (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by Langley on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:53:29 AM EST

Here are some more images. Although no source is listed for them, so who knows where these came from...



A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. -Abraham Lincoln (Sixteenth President of the United States of America)
[ Parent ]
Addictiveness of various drugs (4.71 / 7) (#58)
by DJBongHit on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:02:51 AM EST

I had an interesting conversation with Signal 11 on IRC the other day about addictions, and I mentioned to him that caffeine was nearly as addictive as cocaine. He didn't believe me, so I googled for "cocaine addictiveness," and on the first page of results I found this, which supported my claim. Notice how the war on drugs has conditioned us to believe that illegal drugs are horrible and addictive, while in reality nicotine is the most addictive drug of all, caffeine is nearly as addictive as cocaine, and alcohol is more addictive than heroin (although less addictive than crack or crystal meth). Incidentally, and completely irrelevant to the current conversation (heh), alcohol is the only drug where withdrawal symptoms can actually be fatal in many cases.

Sorry, stories like this just make me feel the need to point out the hypocracy and complete logical failure of the war on (some) drugs.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

Only fatal withdrawal? (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by priestess on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 11:54:03 AM EST

I was under the distinct impression that barbituates had a good probability of a fatal withdrawal syndrome, yet another drug which is legal (on prescription anyway) and is way more dangerous than, say to pick an example completely at random, pot.

The first link on a google search also seems to back me up on that, but god alone knows how credible a1b2c3.com is.

While it's definately possible (and even fairly easy if you've got a good drinking head on) to overdose fatally on Booze, I've never heard anyone say it's withdrawal syndrome was fatal before. It if were you'd think people like George Best would be in trouble but his doctors definately say not to drink anything. Have you a source for that?

I'm also getting a spurious < on the end of the last line there in preview. I can't figure out where that's comming from so you're stuck with it unless it disapears when I post proper I'm afraid.
Pre...........

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
You are correct (5.00 / 2) (#67)
by botono9 on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:14:04 PM EST

I was under the distinct impression that barbituates had a good probability of a fatal withdrawal syndrome...
They do. Barbituates (especially the short acting kind) and alcohol are almost the exact same drug, barbituates being alcohol in pill form and alcohol being liquid barbituates.

See this for further reading.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

Addictiveness (2.00 / 1) (#69)
by quartz on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:22:06 PM EST

I really don't know what to think anymore. Everybody's talking about addictiveness in relationship with a lot of stuff, but the only thing I am addicted to is the Net. ;) I am a consumer of caffeine, alcohol *and* nicotine, yet I'm not addicted to any of them. I went through long periods without them and I've never experienced even the slightest withdrawal symptoms. I have never tried any of the "illegal" drugs, but I wouldn't be surprised if they'd turn out to be non-addictive for me as well. Oh well. Maybe I'm just a weird exception...

--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
Heroin (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by fluffy grue on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 12:41:52 PM EST

I was under the impression that opiate withdrawal (most notably heroin and morphine) could be quite fatal as well, though not nearly as likely as alcohol (and the addict's body would have already had to have been really Fucked Up, and that's normally due to ancillary effects of the drug and not the drug itself).

Of course, it's really hard these days to separate what is caused by the drug and what is caused by society in relation to the drug's legality, and it's pretty much impossible to get a controlled, scientific study in humans (and even obtaining the materials for lab animal research is Very Difficult).
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Opiate withdrawal (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by DJBongHit on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 01:57:09 PM EST

I was under the impression that opiate withdrawal (most notably heroin and morphine) could be quite fatal as well, though not nearly as likely as alcohol (and the addict's body would have already had to have been really Fucked Up, and that's normally due to ancillary effects of the drug and not the drug itself).

Opiate withdrawal, while quite unpleasant (to say the least), is generally not fatal. In the rare case that somebody dies while going through opiate withdrawal, it's usually caused by their weakened body just giving out from the stress, not from withdrawal effects of the drug itself.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (4.00 / 1) (#87)
by fluffy grue on Sat Sep 01, 2001 at 12:55:16 PM EST

That's what I thought (infact, I said that in the bit you quoted :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

my experience with caffeine (2.00 / 1) (#84)
by mattw on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 03:04:15 PM EST

Obviously, anecdotal evidence isn't particularly statistically useful, but I've always experienced basically what I'd read was typical for caffeine. I can quit cold-turkey. I don't have the 'urge' to get more, but if I've been drinking a lot (more than say 2 dews) of soda and stop cold, I'll sometimes get a headache for that day. The headache never lasts more than a day. I've gone off and on huge amounts of caffeine (as much as 8-10 diet mt dews a day), and had little effect. I usually consciously remember that I've had too much and still drink a little as I cut back to "let myself down easy".

Looking at your chart, I wonder how the numbers relate. People who drink alcohol daily for months can be in danger of death from quitting cold turkey. I've had soda daily for periods of 6 months or longer and then quit cold turkey without anything more than a brief headache, so it seems impossible for them to be on a linear scale with the numbers shown if my experience is typical.


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
[ Parent ]
Hrm? (2.50 / 2) (#91)
by delmoi on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 06:49:10 AM EST

That's a surprize. My understanding was that nicotine was the most addictive, followed by heroin then cocaine... and that Crack and Cocaine and Crack were the same thing.

Also, I think Heroin withdraw can be leathal.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Cocaine/crack (4.00 / 2) (#92)
by DJBongHit on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 08:15:18 AM EST

My understanding was that nicotine was the most addictive, followed by heroin then cocaine...

You're right up to this point (although there are a few drugs in between nicotine and heroin on the scale), but while cocaine and crack are the same drug in different form, the method of ingestion is different, leading to different effects and addictive qualities. Crack becomes addictive much faster than cocaine.

Also, I think Heroin withdraw can be leathal

Yes, but only rarely, and only in the same way that clapping your hands loudly behind an old man can be fatal. See the comments below (in this same subthread) which, due to mozilla being particularly slow right now, I'm not gonna go link here.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Addictiveness vs. Danger. (none / 0) (#95)
by Rainy on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 01:52:59 PM EST

You gotta mention that addictiveness alone doesn't equal "dangerousness". Coke is far more pleasant than caffeine. I didn't try it myself, but I tried e and coke is supposed to feel better - and even e is a far more pleasing experience than caffeine. This should factor in when estimating how likely it is to get addicted to a substance - caffeine is more addictive than say DXM but you're probably more likely to get addicted to DXM because the trip is more interesting. I'm sure you do know this, but when you tell people caffeine is more addictive than Heroin, say, they are of course very surprised because they equate dangerousness with addictiveness, and you don't explain them the difference.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Nope (none / 0) (#101)
by DJBongHit on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 10:33:16 AM EST

You gotta mention that addictiveness alone doesn't equal "dangerousness". Coke is far more pleasant than caffeine. I didn't try it myself, but I tried e and coke is supposed to feel better - and even e is a far more pleasing experience than caffeine. This should factor in when estimating how likely it is to get addicted to a substance

Not really true. Cigarettes are only vaguely pleasurable after you're been smoking for a year or two, but they're still hard as hell to quit. And you note that E is far more pleasurable than caffeine (I beg to differ, but I happen to hate the stuff), and yet nobody gets addicted to E (physically). You're confusing physical and psychological addictions - and you can become psychologically addicted to anything; coffee, sex, chocolate, TV, pot, ...

caffeine is more addictive than say DXM but you're probably more likely to get addicted to DXM because the trip is more interesting.

Have you ever heard of ANYBODY addicted to DXM? People generally don't get addicted to hallucinogens, because they're very mentally draining - you may have the best time of your life on a trip, but afterwards you don't particularly want to do it again right away.

I'm sure you do know this, but when you tell people caffeine is more addictive than Heroin, say, they are of course very surprised because they equate dangerousness with addictiveness, and you don't explain them the difference.

I didn't say caffeine was more addictive than heroin, I said nicotine and alcohol are. Caffeine is more addictive than cocaine, but cocaine's addictive properties are overblown by War on Drugs propaganda, most of which only has a very weak basis in truth. And contrary to popular belief, heroin probably _is_ safer than caffeine - narcotics (which refers to opiates, not all illegal drugs as many people think) are actually quite safe when you use a proper dosage. Opiate deaths and health problems generally result from impurities in the supply or unknown dosages, both of which are caused by the fact that most heroin is black market-supplied (and we saw these same problems regarding alcohol during Prohibition... this is nothing new).

Pure, clean heroin's only real danger (aside from overdose, which you could avoid if you knew the purity) is addiction, but street heroin is a different thing altogether. The War on Drugs is a self-fulfilling prophecy - they say drugs are dangerous and cause crime, so they make them illegal, and suddenly they're dangerous and cause crime. We saw this in the 1920's and early 1930's with Prohibition, but nobody seems to connect that experience with the current War on Drugs.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
I'm not talking about physical/psychological add. (1.00 / 1) (#102)
by Rainy on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 11:53:18 AM EST

Not really true. Cigarettes are only vaguely pleasurable after you're been smoking for a year or two, but they're still hard as hell to quit. I'm not arguing that they're easier to quit, I'm arguing that one is not likely to get addicted because it's not as pleasant an experience. And you note that E is far more pleasurable than caffeine (I beg to differ, but I happen to hate the stuff), People have very different reactions to various drugs, but I'm talking about typical reaction here. Vast majority gets a much more pleasant high from E than from Caffeine. and yet nobody gets addicted to E (physically). I did not say it has to be physical addiction. I said "addiction" which includes both meanings. You're confusing physical and psychological addictions - and you can become psychologically addicted to anything; coffee, sex, chocolate, TV, pot, ... I'm well aware of the difference - and that's precisely why I didn't say E is physically addictive, which is beside the point. Have you ever heard of ANYBODY addicted to DXM? People generally don't get addicted to hallucinogens, because they're very mentally draining - you may have the best time of your life on a trip, but afterwards you don't particularly want to do it again right away. Certainly I have - but I read the DXM faq and it of course showcases fringe cases. I don't intend to claim that DXM is dangerous compared to caffeine or nicotine, for instance. Besides, it's in fact counter-addictive as some findings suggest. I didn't say caffeine was more addictive than heroin, I said nicotine and alcohol are. Sorry for the mix-up. Caffeine is more addictive than cocaine, but cocaine's addictive properties are overblown by War on Drugs propaganda, most of which only has a very weak basis in truth. One of the reasons they're overblown is cause they can't say how good it feels. Nobody can believe it before trying, anyway. People have no frame of reference. As a result, there's implicit idea that even the first try can get you addicted psychologically. Chocolate or candy can be, too, of course. I for one can't buy a large bag of candy (especially starburst chews!) - I won't stop till I've eaten all of it. And it's quite unhealthy to slam your digestive system with that much sugar. It's not a big deal because it's easy not to buy it, but if you're talking about weed, that's a different story. I know people for who it's really hard not to buy weed - they don't even like smoking it anymore but they keep buying. It's psychological but it's still quite debilitating. Physical addiction is nastier but at the same time, you could say that it forces you to make a decision while psychological addiction can last a lifetime, influencing you in a profound way. Look at the guy in the story, for instance, he may have kept drinking 20 cans a day for the rest of his life if his body didn't get sick of it - and he'd never be free of it like he is now. It's highly arguable which is better - having to quit painfully several times but be free or keep drinking 20 cans of cola for the rest of your life. And contrary to popular belief, heroin probably _is_ safer than caffeine - narcotics (which refers to opiates, not all illegal drugs as many people think) are actually quite safe when you use a proper dosage. That might be, although I'd chalk that up not to the fact that heroin is safer than it is believed, but rather to the fact that caffeine is far less safe than it is believed. Although I never tried H, so I can't speak from the first-person perspective. Opiate deaths and health problems generally result from impurities in the supply or unknown dosages, both of which are caused by the fact that most heroin is black market-supplied (and we saw these same problems regarding alcohol during Prohibition... this is nothing new). Pure, clean heroin's only real danger (aside from overdose, which you could avoid if you knew the purity) is addiction, Well, yeah, but that's quite a danger, isn't it? but street heroin is a different thing altogether. The War on Drugs is a self-fulfilling prophecy - they say drugs are dangerous and cause crime, so they make them illegal, and suddenly they're dangerous and cause crime. We saw this in the 1920's and early 1930's with Prohibition, but nobody seems to connect that experience with the current War on Drugs. Well, I guess that's a bit of a lie but it's hard to estimate just how bad addiction to H is. Their view may be that while it's not dangerous or causes crime, it's very dangerous for it's addiction, and you can't really let people make an educated choice *before* they get addicted. So they fool people by saying that it's going to kill you because that's a tangible threat. If you tell them, it's going to make a different person in a way you can't predict, they'll be like "uh, that's find, dude". Prohibition is different because there's been something like 95% of population in Chicago who drank during prohibition - while if you look at the most popular weed, it's probably at 20% or 15% for habitual users. It's similar, of course, but not quite the same.

But then again, I don't know. I never talked to someone who makes the drug policy here. They may be really smart or they may be clueless. I'm personally reserving my judgement.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by DJBongHit on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 12:53:29 PM EST

Ugh, dude, PLEASE use some BR tags :\

I did not say it has to be physical addiction. I said "addiction" which includes both meanings.

Yes, but they're completely different phenomena and really shouldn't be lumped together. Physical addiction is based purely on chemical properties of a substance, while psychological addiction is based on how much you like it.

That might be, although I'd chalk that up not to the fact that heroin is safer than it is believed, but rather to the fact that caffeine is far less safe than it is believed. Although I never tried H, so I can't speak from the first-person perspective.

I'd chalk it up to both that heroin is safer than is believed and that caffeine is far less safe than is believed. Sigmund Freud was a closet heroin addict for nearly his entire life, and yet, since he had access to clean, medical grade supply, nobody but his closest friends and family had any idea.

Well, I guess that's a bit of a lie but it's hard to estimate just how bad addiction to H is. Their view may be that while it's not dangerous or causes crime, it's very dangerous for it's addiction, and you can't really let people make an educated choice *before* they get addicted

As I've said before, addiction itself really isn't that bad or debilitating, provided you have access to an affordable and clean supply. You don't hear of cigarette smokers robbing people to support their habit, do you? Or alcoholics? And a lifelong addiction to cigarettes doesn't kill anybody... it's the health dangers from the cigarettes themselves that kill. You could make the claim that you're addicted to food, since if you don't eat it you'll die. But nobody sees that as a bad thing, because (most) people can afford food and don't have to rob people to be able to eat. But somebody who's starving on the streets will exhibit the same behavior as a heroin addict without any money - they'll do whatever they have to to get some.

The real danger from addiction comes from being addicted to an inherently dangerous substance (tobacco or cocaine) or not being able to afford to support your addiction (and high prices are a by-product of making something illegal. Most drugs are simply organic compounds and wouldn't cost a lot fo grow if it weren't for government intervention).

I'm not arguing that getting addicted to heroin is a good idea - I'm just arguing that making it illegal makes the problem much worse.

But then again, I don't know. I never talked to someone who makes the drug policy here. They may be really smart or they may be clueless. I'm personally reserving my judgement.

They're quite smart, but the problem stems from the fact that their job security depends on them NOT solving the drug problem. The worse the drug problem becomes, the more valuable their jobs are. If you were in their position, would you do everything in your power to make the drug problem not a problem anymore? I don't think so.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
That's not my point, though.. (none / 0) (#104)
by Rainy on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 04:03:59 PM EST

My original point was that, let's say, you got two drugs, X and Y. X causes dependancy after 100 doses, Y causes dependency after 1000 doses. If you look at just these numbers, you'd say X is much more addictive, and you'd be right. HOwever, if you try X, your skin feels like rubber and you feel like shit for 7 hours. When you wake up on the next day, you're absolutely drained and depressed. Will you do it another 99 times? No, you won't. What about substance Y? It makes you feel *great*. Music sounds 10 times better and you can hear much more detail than you normally do, movies take on a new meaning and so on. So, the danger of getting addicted to substance Y is higher even though technically it's far less addictive! This sort of thing needs to be factored in. Now let's look at two real drugs: caffeine and marijuana. Caffeine is physiologically addictive and weed is not - but weed is a much more pleasant substance so there's a much higher chance of getting psychologically addicted than physiological addiction to caffeine (which is legal and much more readily and widely available, and also culturally accepatable, and that compensates its uhm.. "unpleasantness" somewhat).

Speaking of which, I have to disagree that psychological addiction is simply "what you like to do". Let's define the terms clearly - physiological addiction is when you have withdrawal symptoms, and you need to increase dosage to get the same effect. Period. Psychological addiction is when you may want to stop doing something but can't, even though there's no withdrawal symptoms or need to increase dosage. You may be psychologically addicted to food or TV but if you like to watch TV, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're psychologically addicted. You may watch it sometimes and like it but not feel that it interferes with your life and you'd like to cut down on it but you can't get yourself to do it. Please don't underestimate psychological addiction - that's our main point of disagreement, I think.

I'm sorry about missing line breaks - I use lynx and in it italics show up in different color so it's easy to see the quotes, and I forget line breaks sometimes. This time I remembered :-).

I'll also have to disagree that main danger from addictive drugs is ODing and health problems and crime - these are most obvious and tangible problems, but effects on one's personality and his life are as important - sure, I'd rather undergo a drastic change to my personality than death, but then again you're much more likely to have that change than die or rob the quickie mart. It's just that it's much easier to focus on such obvious and tangible things - if your neighbour dies of H overdose, you'll say, doh, he died of H overdose but if he has a really bad trip that changes him forever or something, you may not even know it and/or notice any change if you don't know the guy too well.

Despite all this, I think drugs should not be prohibited - even the most dangerous ones. I just disagree that this is an obvious thing like many drug afficionados proclaim. It's a very complex issue, dude.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Psychological addiction (none / 0) (#105)
by DJBongHit on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 06:25:16 PM EST

I'm sorry about missing line breaks - I use lynx and in it italics show up in different color so it's easy to see the quotes, and I forget line breaks sometimes. This time I remembered :-).

It's all good :)

Now let's look at two real drugs: caffeine and marijuana. Caffeine is physiologically addictive and weed is not - but weed is a much more pleasant substance so there's a much higher chance of getting psychologically addicted than physiological addiction to caffeine (which is legal and much more readily and widely available, and also culturally accepatable, and that compensates its uhm.. "unpleasantness" somewhat).

I see your logic here, but I don't agree with it, and I even don't agree with the facts you state - I think it's much easier to become psychologically addicted to caffeine than marijuana... just look at how many people use caffeine every single morning. Some people get psycholigically addicted to marijuana, but very few compared to the number of users (30 million Americans have tried pot, and around 12 million are regular users, but very few have problems trying to quit).

Speaking of which, I have to disagree that psychological addiction is simply "what you like to do".

I agree as well, I was pretty tired when I posted that comment and wasn't thinking too clearly - hadn't had my caffeine fix yet :D

Psychological addiction isn't "what you like to do," but that's where the addiction starts - you're not going to become psychologically addicted to something you don't like to do.

You may be psychologically addicted to food or TV but if you like to watch TV, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're psychologically addicted. You may watch it sometimes and like it but not feel that it interferes with your life and you'd like to cut down on it but you can't get yourself to do it. Please don't underestimate psychological addiction - that's our main point of disagreement, I think.

I'm not underestimating psychological addiction... I know it can be very hard to break, and I agree that it can be harder to break than physical addiction. What I'm saying is that it's not a product of the substance or activity, but a psychological issue with the addicted individual. You can't blame pot, or E, or TV, or sex, or whatever for that.

On a related note, I saw a study (maybe it was here? I don't remember) which talked about how television may actually be a physical addiction, not a psychological one - apparently watching TV causes your brain to release a particular neurotransmitter, and when you don't watch TV and this neurotransmitter isn't released, you can suffer similar effects to that of opiate withdrawal. Not sure I buy it (I used to watch TV constantly, haven't watched it at all in more than a month, and haven't missed it a bit), but it's something to think about. The line between physical and psychological addiction can get pretty blurry at times.

I'll also have to disagree that main danger from addictive drugs is ODing and health problems and crime - these are most obvious and tangible problems, but effects on one's personality and his life are as important

But any life experience can have drastic effects on your personality... this isn't a phenomenon which is in any way unique to drugs. As for your "bad trip" reference, that isn't really an issue. I've had a bad trip (on acid), and while it was horrible and the scariest experience of my life, I came through unscathed, as do most people. It was simply another experience.

*sigh*. At work at 7 PM on labor day. Holiday, my ass.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Few notes.. (none / 0) (#108)
by Rainy on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 12:28:44 PM EST

I see your logic here, but I don't agree with it, and I even don't agree with the facts you state - I think it's much easier to become psychologically addicted to caffeine than marijuana... just look at how many people use caffeine every single morning.

But that's physiological addiction and need of stimulating effects!

Some people get psycholigically addicted to marijuana, but very few compared to the number of users (30 million Americans have tried pot, and around 12 million are regular users, but very few have problems trying to quit).

That may be true.. but if this is so, it's due to the fact that it's not physiologically addictive - keep in mind that my point is not about weed being dangerous (it's not), but that when talking about dangerousness of some hypothetical drug X, you have to figure in not only its addictiveness, but also how good the associated trip is.

physical addiction. What I'm saying is that it's not a product of the substance or activity, but a psychological issue with the addicted individual. You can't blame pot, or E, or TV, or sex, or whatever for that.

Um, you're missing my point yet again :-). My point is this - if a trip is very nice, and the substance is physiologically or psychologically addictive on top of that, these two things add up. You can't look at its addictiveness alone and say that this is all there is to it. That's all I'm saying. I'm not saying "let's blame pot and TV and close down TV stations and spray all pot crops with herbicide". I'm talking about previous stage - where you're just estimating dangerousness of any substance.

But any life experience can have drastic effects on your personality... this isn't a phenomenon which is in any way unique to drugs.

Yeah, neither are health problems and death and crime unique to drugs, but we *are* considering drugs dangerous because of associated health problems, death and crime.

As for your "bad trip" reference, that isn't really an issue. I've had a bad trip (on acid), and while it was horrible and the scariest experience of my life, I came through unscathed, as do most people. It was simply another experience.

Same here, but that hardly proves it's not an issue. If you were a drunk driver and you ran a red light, and nothing happened 'cause the intersection was empty, does that indicate that careless driving is not an issue?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

DJbonghit (none / 0) (#117)
by BLU ICE on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 08:23:23 PM EST

Probably he got logged out or something. Why does rusty make the defaults for Scoop the worst possible: HTML formatted instead of auto, newest first, threaded.

Most everyone uses auto format, oldest first, and flat. I wish that would be changed.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

How to quit caffeine (4.33 / 6) (#74)
by NoNeckJoe on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 01:13:00 PM EST

Cold turkey is usually a bad idea. Symptoms of caffeine withdrawl include:
  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • sensitivity to light,
  • irritability,
  • and fatigue.

    Those are all nasty things to feel, and it is possible to avoid them. I will recount the way that I manged to quit successfully. I started by accurately assessing how much coffee and soda I drank in a day. Two cups of coffee was the figure I came in at. On a monday I decided to drink one cup or regular coffee, and one cup of decaf. I did this for one week. The following week I drank just one cup. This progressed to 1 cup that was half regular, half decaf for a week. Then to half a cup regular for a week. Then to half a cup decaf for a week. Then none at all. Count the weeks up. This was a five week project, and I had to have a lot of self control. I didn't experience any of those symptoms during this process. I gradually brought my body off of caffeine, and went for several months before I fell off the wagon.

  • The difference between Will and Habit. (4.00 / 6) (#75)
    by Dialup on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 01:25:33 PM EST

    I'm what you might consider to be a recreational drug user, though "experimentor" is a far more accurate description than "user". I don't use drugs because I'm bored, or to "get fscked up". I do all kinds of research- namely taking to friends and associates who've done whatever it is I'm thinking of doing- and I make it a point to know everything about a drug, inside and out, before I bother with it. From this standpoint, I'm an amateur heading for professional status, and have not allowed my experimentation or useage to interfere with my professional life.

    I also have very severe allergies to almost everything, which makes my mileage a bit different than most.

    I smoke (camel lights)- while I'll admit this has become more force of habit than anything else, I have found the experience to be incredibly useful. I eat less, for one. For another, I have made an *amazing* number of friends through various smoke benches at work and in school. And I haven't had a serious allergy attack since I started, as the smoking keeps my septum dried out. I smoke about a pack a day during the summer, sometimes two when I go to bars- oddly enough, if I smoke enough my sense of smell comes back. During the winter, my useage drops to about half a pack a day. Smoking combined with Ephedrine keeps my allergies in check, and works better than every allergy medication I have ever tried, with the added effect of not putting me to sleep. Out of every single drug on this list, cigarettes are easily the most addictive. They are also legal, and serve as a harmless way of making friends.

    Out of everything on this list, I would rank cigarettes (not Tobacco and Nicotine, but commercial cigarettes, additives and all) as being more addictive than heroine. The thing that makes any drug addictive is its availability, namely an abundance thereof. You can get smokes *anywhere*, whereas, for example, heroine is a lot harder to come by. It's real easy to break a heroine experience when you know you're not going to be offered the drug again for months, if not years.

    My Caffeine use is occasional. I'm virtually immune to the positive effects of the drug, though there's some additional ingredient in coffee that I have a chronic bowel allergy to. The tastes of colas and mountian dew is quite disgusting, and I've found that I greatly prefer Jones soda, which is caffeine free.

    I use Ephedrine, an over-the-counter amphetimine. Not to "wake up", not to "get a buzz", but to *breathe*. In addition to being a stimulant, Ephedrine is a bronchial dialator- while it doesn't make me jump around like a crack monkey, it makes severe allergy days bearable. One pill at a time- on the onset of allergies, and maybe another one later in the day for maintenance. I consider this drug to be optional, as I do not use it every day, or when I'm "feeling tired". I use it ONLY on the onset of allergy symptoms. I am an Ephedrine user, within a limit realm of specific applications.

    I cannot smoke marijuana- I'm allergic to some of the ingredients that are found in the most common (95%) of the variants. If I *do* smoke, my nose quite literally runs like a faucet. I am not a pot smoker.

    I tried Excstacy once. It was cut with heroine. Felt really good for thirty hours, then like ass for two weeks. And I was amazingly constipated. Not fun, not recommended. Friends of mine have had much better experiences with this drug, though I've met a few "etards" in my time and have no further interest in messing with it. I like my seratonin in the amounts I already recieve it in, thank you. I'm not an Exstacy user.

    I'm not a huge fan of Alcohol. I'm allergic to hops and malt liquor - the easiest way to describe these hangovers would be to picture being locked in an iron maiden that's been coated in itching powder and hydrochloric acid. They last ALL day, too. :P I can handle rum and coke and vodka, and occasionally schnapps. I can't do beer, and I have no stock of liquor in my house. I go out once or twice a week as a social thing, at which point I will have one or two (or sometimes, if someone else is buying, four) drinks and that's it. I can still get up and make it to work on time. I use Alcohol socially, as I find certain concepts easier to commute when my inhibitions- what few remain- are on coffee break.

    I've done enough cocaine to kill a horse. I strongly recommend that you never do it recreationally, just for shits and giggles, or out of boredom- or you WILL develope a dependency. My useage has been purely social and regulated, with experts present. After doing it twice I was aware of the effects of the comedown and knew how to deal with it without resorting to other stimulants. My useage is very occasional - no more than once every six or eight weeks or so, and even then, strictly regulated. Verily, I do like the effects- and I have no interest to speak of in these effects becoming a regular part of my life. Exert some willpower over it and you'll be fine- I never find myself craving the substance, and when it goes round, I'm usually amongst the last to partake. Cocaine is a wonderful social drug, particularly when mixed with a reasonable measure of alcohol.

    I tried LSD once, and at five dollars a tab with an 8-12 hour trip, it's easily the best bang for your drug dollar. I did a LOT of research on that one before I used it, and was sure to set up a contained, comfortable, and trusted environment with good music for the experiment. I went with two others, and we did artwork the entire night. I had a blast, though I've had a few flashbacks- when your imagination is as active as mine, these are nothing to write home about. In this case, environment is everything, as is a "control"- there were two people in the house who weren't having a trip and they kept half of an eye on us. It's a really, really fun drug under the correct circumstances. I may at some point do it again, but setting up the control lab at this point in my life would be rather difficult. I do not advocate using LSD as a recreational drug, but rather as a professional device- it is an excellent test utility for artists and writers. The caveat being that you should be relatively stable to begin with.

    In closing, if you do your research and find out what a drug can be used for, and actually USE it for something as opposed to just to get high, you will find that you have a much better grasp on the drug, and its hold on you is, at worst, tenuous, and at best, nonexistant.

    Be sure ... (1.85 / 7) (#88)
    by LordNimon on Sat Sep 01, 2001 at 06:10:04 PM EST

    ... to have your next of kin post here to let us known when you die of cancer. I'm sure in the last days of your life, you'll wish you had your allergies back.

    This is my last post on K5. The number of pro-drug people on this web site is sickening.

    --
    Lord Nimon
    Yes, I use OS/2 Warp.

    [ Parent ]

    Drugs are a vehicle, not a parking lot. (3.00 / 5) (#89)
    by Dialup on Sat Sep 01, 2001 at 07:29:08 PM EST

    Doubtless you're disgusted by the stoner/junky types that park and sit on their asses, doing nothing with the tools they've been given. Cocaine and LSD are almost as versatile as a screwdriver and a hacksaw- it's amazing the things you can do in a pinch when that's all you have in your toolbox (like create new heads for stripped screws, etceteras).

    Anyone with a reasonably open mind realizes that an individuals personal preferences are just that, and stays the hell away from the matter. The tone of your post obviously indicates that you think of drug users as something less than yourself: never mind the fact that the post you've decided to vent your rancore on heavily advocates actually USING YOUR DAMNED HEAD with regards to the chemicals in question.

    Head over to slashdot- you'll fit right in over there.

    And as for allergies.... I'll gladly take ten years off of my life if that means I can actually BREATHE for the other sixty, THANK YOU. You've OBVIOUSLY never experienced severe allergy attacks- reactions so severe that your nasal cavity swells completely shut and you have no choice but to breathe through your mouth.

    Hmm... sixty years of fun, or seventy years of total, miserable HELL? You can easily bet on what I'm going with in this situation, folks.

    Persons with chronic afflictions are willing to persue ANY recourse for relief of symptoms. If I did not already state in my post above, the combination of ephedrine and cigarettes not only acts as an appetite and hangover supressant, but is also the ONLY over the counter combination I've discovered that does not put my brain into sleep mode, knock me into a coma or generally turn me into a goddamned retard. Sudafed, Claritin, nasal spray... none of it does the job well enough to be worth using. Yeah, they're not going to give me lung cancer in forty years, but they don't do anything ELSE, either.

    Maybe you'll acquire viscious allergies to dust, cologne, food additives, spices, coffee, marijuanna, hops, and pollen. Then we'll see how you feel when you're up against the wall with your nose running like a faucet and your mind feeling as if it has been wrapped in a steaming hot wet cotten towel. For every single damned day of the year between March and October. Put up with THAT for eighteen years - straight - and see if YOU don't change your mind on the whole drug culture you so despise.

    [ Parent ]
    bingo (4.50 / 4) (#93)
    by crayz on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 09:37:25 AM EST

    You've OBVIOUSLY never experienced severe allergy attacks- reactions so severe that your nasal cavity swells completely shut and you have no choice but to breathe through your mouth.

    Yeah. I finally got some Zyrtec, which works for me, but before that every day this summer I would wake up with my mouth dry and full of snot(I had to leave it open while I slept because I couldn't breathe through my nose), and my nose backed up with 8 hours worth of congestion. I would start by rinsing out my mouth and usually gagging on the feeling that someone blew their nose in my mouth. I would then be sneezing and blowing my nose for about the next half hour just to get to the point where I would only have to have a sinus headache and congested/running nose the rest of the day. Wow, that really is a life worth living.

    [ Parent ]

    addiction... (2.00 / 1) (#109)
    by methoxy on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 02:50:54 AM EST

    Maybe I would believe this if it was just one metabolic freak, but all these responses? Read www.erowid.org for interesting stories of drug use/abuse, but this sounds like middle class tittering. I broke a Methylphenidate/Carisoprodol habit that worked just fine. I masturbated and made art. I quit smoking. At least get your hands dirty if your going to write about it. And for real preaching about drugs see www.maps.org. see: 4-ACETOXY-DiPT, 2C-T-7, BZP Caffine is safe because of its overly generlized affect. Get funky.

    [ Parent ]
    8x64 oz is 4 gallons, not 8. But it is excessive. (none / 0) (#78)
    by raygundan on Thu Aug 30, 2001 at 02:05:55 PM EST

    Since 128 fluid ounces = 1 US gallon. But it is still a LOT of water. I run quite a bit, and even on 10-mile days in the summer I only drink a couple of gallons worth. The general rule of thumb for runners is to drink until you're peeing clear-- otherwise you're dehydrated.

    Caffeine dehydrates (3.00 / 1) (#100)
    by BlckKnght on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 01:37:14 AM EST

    Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it causes more water to be excreted as urine. In normal quantities, that's not normally an issue, but when drinking massive ammounts of caffeine, it's not surprising that it would encourage drinking of more beverages.

    What really surprises me is that the high sugar content of all that Mountain Dew didn't totally wreck the author's metabolism....

    -- 
    Error: .signature: No such file or directory


    [ Parent ]
    Not harmless (none / 0) (#94)
    by ariux on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 01:47:33 PM EST

    Five years ago, after drinking caffeine for about six years, I noticed some bad effects and quit. Avoiding tea, coffee, and chocolate has since been a constant low-grade nuisance, but I'm substantially healthier.

    From watching others, it's clear that most people aren't affected in the way I was.

    I'd say government is not the right tool for this job, but I wish the potential ill effects of caffeine were more widely known. ("You don't eat what??")

    Caffeine and ephedra (none / 0) (#96)
    by IriseLenoir on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 02:07:42 PM EST

    Caffeine is indeed a very powerful drug. My mom developed osteoporosis largely because of it (prevents the assimilation of calcium). Very addictive, and even more so because it?s not considered harmful by society, as you said. Coffee machines in offices are a serious danger to social health. And soft drinks are even worst, since they contain so much white sugar too. Why don?t parents let their children drink coffee but give them Coke all the time? And then they?ll wonder why they are hyperactive and put them on Ritalin.

    I want to get back on the caffeine and ephedra pills you took. Ephedra sinica, the plant, can be a wonderful drug (against my allergies, asthma, cold and fever, amongst other things), but there are safety measures to be taken, the first one being never mix it with caffeine. Use the whole plant in tea, not just ephedrine in pills (the plant contains pseudo-ephedrine which enhance it?s effect while reducing side effects). While it does accelerate the metabolism and reduce appetite a little, it shouldn?t be used as a weight-loss cure. Just eat better and less and exercise! It may help a little, but most of the work is elsewhere. You need to get your eyes off the screen for 10 minutes every hour, so instead of drinking coffee, go take a small walk outside. You?ll see the sun (vitamin D) can give an equal boast while being good for you! It?s also cool to do some meditation on ephedra (Chinese monks have been using this for over 5000 years). Do some research on Ephedra sinica and Ma Huang (it?s Chinese name) before you take any (or keep taking it). Know that you shouldn?t take it for more than 1-3 months without taking a weeklong break as to not put too much in your blood.
    "liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

    quitting caffeine (none / 0) (#106)
    by adridne on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 08:26:10 AM EST

    My decision to quit caffeine was less of a choice than a necessity. Caffeine has never affected my in very normal ways. Until my freshman year of college, it barely affected me at all. I had to consume a huge quantity of it to see and result. However, my first year of college, that changed. I developed an allergy to caffeine. A cup of coffee would make me shake so badly that people thought I was having convulsions. If I had caffeine I couldn't concentrate on anything other than trying to control my breathing, which became ragged and hoarse as my whole body shook. I was horribly frightening, and I only had a few attacks before realizing what the problem was. I cut caffeine completely out of my life, which made me realize how prevalent it is. It was often hard to find anything to drink which didn't have caffeine or alchol (I don't drink) in it in a social setting. After a year and a half with no caffiene, I can now have some. My allergy comes and goes, and a can of Coke no longer means half an hour sitting down trying to be calm. Still, I worry about its image in America. I would no more put a commercial on TV about "the joy of Pepsi" than I would about "the joy of Heroin." Caffeine is a drug, and I think it needs to be regulated like one, not outlawed, but controlled.

    addiction... (2.00 / 1) (#110)
    by methoxy on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 03:08:53 AM EST

    Maybe I would believe this if it was just one metabolic freak, but all these responses? Read www.erowid.org for interesting stories of drug use/abuse, but this sounds like middle class tittering. I broke a Methylphenidate/Carisoprodol habit that worked just fine. I masturbated and made art. I quit smoking. At least get your hands dirty if your going to write about it. See: 4-ACETOXY-DiPT, 2C-T-7, BZP

    Caffine is safe because of its overly generlized affect. Get funky.

    -lover

    www.nerve.com


    yeah... but (none / 0) (#111)
    by jpm165 on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 01:53:11 PM EST

    did you ever suck somebody's dick for caffeine? i sucked somebody's dick for coke...well, not really..

    "But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."

    My horrific trip through detox. | 117 comments (115 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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