Caffeine is Not as Addictive as Scheduled Narcotics

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Caffeine is Not as Addictive as Scheduled Narcotics

It is a common misconception that caffeine is a highly addictive compound. Caffeine does, however possess some mild stimulating properties. These properties are not enough to claim it an addictive substance, and definitely not a candidate to be a scheduled narcotic. “Today caffeine is greeted with near-universal approval and caffeine may well be the most commonly-used psychoactive substance on the planet”(Erowid). Caffeine is not as addictive as some claim when discussing the chemical effects and its addictive nature.

Caffeine, also known as trimethylxanthine, is a white stimulant drug in the xanthine alkaloid family. It has a crystalline structure and is bitter in taste. It occurs naturally in the seeds, leaves and fruits of some plants. Caffeine’s natural purpose is to act as a pesticide; however, caffeinated products were first consumed by humans as long ago as 3000 BC (Evans 2).

The most common form of caffeine consumption in the world is the drinking of coffee. According to a popular Ethiopian legend, called “The Legend of the Dancing Goats”, coffee was discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi. Kaldi noticed his goats frolicking around a green shrub with red berries and upon closer inspection he noticed the goats eating the berries. Kaldi was curious and decided to eat some of the berries himself, a short time later a monk from the nearby monetary noticed Kaldi and his sheep dancing in the field. The monk, being more scientifically minded than Kaldi, took some berries back to his monastery and roasted them to use in a drink and thus coffee was discovered. However, there is no way to prove the truthfulness of this story and it is thought by most to be simply...

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John C. Evans (1992). Tea in China: The History of China's National Drink. Greenwood Press. P. 2. ISBN 0-313-28049-5.

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Caffeine Withdrawal Recognized as a Disorder." Sept. 29, 2004 Http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press_releases/2004/09_29_04.html

Reddy, Sumathi. "A Coffee Withdrawal Diagnosis." The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 10 June 2013. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.

Reid, T. R. "Caffeine @ National Geographic Magazine." Caffeine. National Geographic Magazine, N.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Studeville, George. "Caffeine Addiction Is a Mental Disorder, Doctors Say." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 19 Jan. 2005. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <"http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0119_050119_ngm_caffeine.html>.

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