Caffeine is a Psycoactive Drug

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Have you ever been so tired that you’ve dozed off at work? Or tried to stop yourself from falling asleep while you’re driving or even worse – got caught sleeping in class? These instances could have been prevented by doing what 90% of Americans do every day – by consuming CAFFEINE. If anyone here feels you can’t make it though your day without a cup of coffee, you are probably addicted to it (I’ll discuss more on that later). Here’s an interesting fact: both words caffeine and coffee are derived from the Arabic word “QAHWEH.” The origins of the words reflect the spread of the beverage into Europe through Arabia and Turkey from North-East Africa. Coffee began to be very popular in Europe in the 17th century and today it’s the most popular psychoactive drug in the world.

Almost everyone in our society today uses caffeine regularly, in one form or another. According to Jennifer Warner of WebMD Medical News, nearly 90% of adults and 76% of children drink some kind of caffeinated beverage every day. More than half of all American adults consume more than 3 cups of coffee. Also, a 1994 survey by the Agriculture Department found that on average, 64 gallons of soda are consumed by children and teenagers every year. Researchers have found that soft drinks have surpassed tea as the second leading source of caffeine for adults while being the top source of caffeine for children. People are not only getting their caffeine from coffee, soda and tea, but from other sources such as energy beverages, caffeinated water, herbal supplements and chocolate. You may not realize how much caffeine you are consuming on a daily basis because caffeine is not listed as an ingredient on the food or drink label, and the Nutrition Facts label does not show how much caffeine is in the product. In addition, beverages marketed as high-energy drinks may contain more than one type of caffeine extract, and in herbal sources, caffeine may not be listed as an active ingredient.
So you can see why half of American adults consume more than 300mg of caffeine per day. All you need to consume to get that amount are just 2 mugs of coffee and a couple of cookies. If you sit down and calculate your caffeine consumption during a typical day, you may be surprised. Many people consume a gram or more of caffeine every day and don’t even realize it.

Now that the widespread u...

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...nd the globe, is a mild drug stimulant, has the potential to become addicting and gives people the opportunity to be social. The bottom line is that caffeine is the most widely accepted and legal way to get that all important energy boost. So, the next time you down that can of Red Bull or take that last sip of cappuccino from Starbucks, take comfort in the fact that you’re getting your fix legally

Works Cited
• Bealer, Bonnie K., and Bennet A. Weinberg. The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug. New York: Routledge, 2002. 208-212.
• Centre College. "Students get a Caffeine and Culture Boost." Yubanet.com 14 Feb. 2005. .

• Gordon M. Wardlaw. Contemporary Nutrition: Issues & Insights. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003. P 556.

• HSW Media Network. “How Caffeine Works.” HowStuffWorks.com. 28 Dec. 2004. .

• Jennifer Warner. “Caffeine Sources Shifting” CBSNEWS.com 28 Dec. 2004. WebMD Inc. .

• T.R. Reid. "Caffeine." Nationalgeographic.com. June 2000. .

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