At some point throughout the day, we like to get an extra kick that can only be granted by caffeine, one of the most widely dispersed legal stimulants on the planet. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a cup of coffee or a sparkling glass of iced black tea? Perhaps you would prefer a slice of chocolate cake or a bubbling mug of hot chocolate. However, for the cluster of Americans seeking an extra shot of hyperactivity, one product can promise an overload of activity: energy drinks. Advertised by athletes and promoted as a lifestyle product, these beverages offer more of a kick than a regular chocolate bar, but are they really as safe as you think? Can you possibly develop an addiction to this drink and its energy-boosting chemicals? Let’s take a closer look and find out some more information.
What Did You Put in That?
Although the list of added ingredients greatly varies from one energy drink to another, all of these products contain some powerful drugs. Besides the obvious listing of caffeine content, these beverages also boast overwhelming loads of sugar, sugar additives, taurine, and more. Unlike sports drinks (which are completely designed to rehydrate the body and refurbish minerals), energy drinks are only designed for one purpose: putting your brain and body into a dangerously high gear.
In recent reports, Dr. Andrew Weil (a celebrity doctor and the “guru” of alternative medicine) directly refers to caffeine (the psychoactive agent in energy drinks) as a mood-altering drug. In fact, he openly discusses how people can develop a physical addiction to this drug and abuse it frequently. Why is this the case? Besides the rush of pleasure, caffeine also tricks the brain into believing it is wide awake.
For adults, caffeine might initially be harmless, but this substance could be considered a gateway drug for younger teens and adults who consume it.
What Are the Risks?
As a substance with a high potential for abuse, caffeine can trigger a form of dependency. As a result, once you stop drinking it, you will start to undergo a form of withdrawal. While certainly not as harmful as alcohol withdrawal, caffeine withdrawal is still an irritating and exhausting problem. Here are some examples of the risk factors of consuming energy drinks:
- Intoxication from caffeine
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Potential caffeine overdose (for small children and teens)
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Weight problems (including obesity)
- Calcium deficiencies
Seeking Treatment for Drug Abuse or Addiction
Drug abuse and addiction are very real and very dangerous aspects of our society and should not be taken lightly. From prescription painkillers to marketable drugs like caffeine, a long lineup of substances is waiting to help or ruin our lives, if we just make the right decisions. Remember, it is never too late for you to get help for your problems. Are you suffering from a case of drug abuse or addiction? Do you have a friend who is also coping with this severe health scare? In both cases, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the rehabilitation process and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle.
If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to put a stop to your drug problems today.