Personal Drug Use, Prevention, Recommended Action and References

For the personal drug use, I am going to use myself. I am a firm drinker of Diet Coke. I have been drinking Diet Coke for a couple years and can’t seem to go a day without one. I do limit myself to only one a day however, I tend to get a headache if I go without. While I was researching, I found myself relating to some of the side effects: headache from withdrawal, dizziness, and fatigue. Whenever I would get these symptoms, I would know what it was from, but it really stuck to me while I was actually reading it. Since I did my research, I have been trying to not even have my one Diet Coke per day because of the effects and hazards to my body and health. I am really glad I did this project because it opened my eyes to how bad something I consumed every day actually is!

Since caffeine is not quite a “life or death” kind of drug, the regulations are a little different than some when it comes to caffeine being used as food:

“Under 21 Code of Federal Regulations section 182,1180, the federal government states that caffeine is generally recognized as safe as used in cola or soft-drink products and when it is used in accordance with proper manufacturing processes. Safe Substances do not require any FDA approval as long as they fall within the safe levels dictated by the statue”, according to FDA Regulations for Caffeine Journal.

To make the decision if caffeine is being used properly, 21 Code of Federal Regulations made caffeine’s tolerance to be .02 percent. This percent means that any product manufactured with caffeine in it has to have .02 percent or less of the desired drug to be considered safe. For example from the journal, “A 12 oz drink can have 68mg of caffeine and still meet the .02 percent limit.”  Caffeine as a drug however, can have more strict laws. According to the FDA, when caffeine is being used as a drug, the manufacturer has to show that caffeine is fit for humans to consume and also has to provide information and labeling that shows exactly how much caffeine is in their product before it can even be thought of distributing to the United States. The FDA has to approve of any drug that contains caffeine in it. Last, but not least, caffeine in dietary supplement is a little more laid back than caffeine as a drug. The FDA is held accountable for overseeing dietary supplements, but the manufacturers do NOT need to get FDA approval for their products. Supplement manufactures have to just barley ensure that their products are not harmful before they can actually sell them. There is not great detail of why the approval process is quite different between these three, but I’m just glad to hear that there is an approval process at all because of the risks of having too much caffeine at any age!

The FDA, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association, all agree that there needs to be a more grounded common sense approach to adding caffeine to such a wide variety of products. They also feel as if manufactures are straying away from the tradition approach of caffeine, such as coffee, to now adding it to gum, that directly affects the oral cavity and drinks that athletes chug before a high stress level game. According to this journal, the FDA requested that there was a two-day workshop earlier this month to better understand the hazards of caffeine. They are now recommending that many manufactures and others attend a workshop to better understand the real harmful effects of caffeine since it is now being added to a lot of products as the years go on. Also recommended, is to not intake more than the recommended amount of caffeine and to keep track of how much you are consuming.

The recommended action for caffeine is simply the fact of not consuming too much. You don’t want to be drinking 10 energy drinks a day, or 5 pots of coffee. Caffeine is not bad for you when you consume it in moderation. Always keep track of how much caffeine you are adding to your body per day and regulate your personal use. Caffeine is one of the most used stimulants in the world, so the odds of everyone stop using it is slim, but just be smart and healthy about how and when you consume it!

My lists of references are:

 Ascherio, A., Weisskopf, M. G., O’Reilly, E. J., McCullough, M. L., Calle, E. E., Rodriguez, C., & Thun, M. J. Coffee Consumption. Epidemiology, 160(10), 977-984.

Hart, C. L., & Ksir, C. (2013). Drugs, Society, & Human Behavior (Fifteenth ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Taylor, M. R. (2013, August 26). Defining Boundaries for Caffeine in Today’s Marketplace. FDA Voice.

Thorne, R. (2011, May 20). FDA Regulations for Caffeine. Live Strong.

3 comments June 22nd, 2014

Pharmacology & Effects, Causes For Concern, Beneficial Uses and Overall Health Impact

Caffeine is one of three xanthines, which are the oldest stimulants known. Caffeine has the greatest effect on the body. The half-life of caffeine is three hours in humans. There is a direct action on the kidneys, which produced more urine flow and also a direct action on salivary flow to show the tolerance of caffeine. Also, physiological effects will happen. When two cups of coffee are closely drank together, the cortex is activated which causes the drowsiness and/or fatigue side effect to disappear (also talked about in below paragraph). When someone doesn’t have high tolerance for caffeine, one cup of coffee can cause him or her to have trouble sleeping at night because of the mood enhancing effect within caffeine. If you increase the amount of coffee to about 3 cups, the caffeine will start to affect the brain and increase the heart rate. Caffeine causes the vascular muscles to dilate which is what reduces the headaches from common seen withdrawal from caffeine. The more caffeine someone intakes, the more irregular their heartbeats will be.

Caffeine’s effects are mainly caused from acute toxicity: headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Adding caffeine to the body and giving into the withdrawal can fix these effects; chronic toxicity however, can be more severe. Chronic toxicity can be tooth decay, reproductive effects, heart disease, and caffeinism. Pregnant women are advised to avoid coffee throughout their pregnancy due to reproductive effects. These effects can chance the pregnancy by causes a miscarriage and slow the growth of the fetus. This effect is not found in all cases, but is not recommended to anyone who wants to carry a healthy baby to term. Heart disease is another major cause for concern simply because of the increase heart rate and blood pressure. If you consume 5 cups or more, you are increasing your chance of coronary heart disease, but if you drink small amounts of coffee, you can actually lower your risk of heart disease. Just like alcohol, caffeine is ok for your body, just in moderation. The last effect, caffeinism, ties in with the social aspect of caffeine (irritability, twitching, insomnia, and any sick feeling). People who consume small amounts of coffee probably wont see these effects, but large amounts will.

The dependence on caffeine is extremely strong. People who are not coffee drinkers or are only used to drinking decaffeinated coffee, see major effects; nauseous, dizziness, and/or anxiety. However, people who are used to coffee see more pleasant effects and their body tend to become immune to the caffeine intake. On the other hand, when coffee drinkers don’t have their usual coffee intake, they can see physical dependence such as a headache or fatigue.

Caffeine is not “beneficial”. Small amounts don’t hurt you, but large amounts are not good for your body. Caffeine can be used to get someone through the day just don’t abuse it. I recommend in consuming small doses of caffeine throughout the day to stay alert and awake, but don’t drink or take caffeine in any form for fun especially if your body doesn’t need it! The overall health assessment isn’t bad on mind or body, just in moderation. Caffeine can disrupt your sleeping habits, which can then lead to bigger problems, so moderation is key.

According to our textbook, Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior:

TABLE 11.1 Caffeine in Beverages and Foods

Caffeine (MG)

Item Average
    Coffee (5 oz cup)       115
    Tea (5 oz cup)        40
    Milk Chocolate         6
    Chocolate-flavored syrup ( 1 oz)         4

1 comment June 14th, 2014

Caffeine: History & Drug Use

teaThe drug I am doing is for my topical project is Caffeine. According to our text book, Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior, there are plenty of forms and/or sources of caffeine such as: coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks, and even some over-the-counter drugs. Coffee began from an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi who didn’t understand why his goats were playing with so much energy, then later found it was due to the goats eating some red berries. Coffee grew worldwide in 1696. Coffee is made of two species: caffea Arabica and caffea robusta; Arabica beans are less stronger than robusta. Coffee continued to spread, and is now found all over the world. The second biggest form of caffeine is tea. The Chinese in a manuscript as a medicinal plant first reported tea.  Tea, just like coffee, has made it around the world, but is grown in Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia. The third legend of caffeine is chocolate. An Aztec god founded chocolate when he discovered the cocoa tree. This too spread widely, however, not as fast as tea or coffee. All three of these forms make up the idea of “caffeine”. Ranking from strongest to weakest: coffee, tea, and then chocolate.

Caffeine is the world’s most common psychostimulant.  The word “caffeine” originated from the German word “kaffee” and the French word “café” which both translates to the American word “coffee”.  Caffeine originated from a German Scientist named Friedrich Ferdinand Runge in the 1820’s.  Caffeine was first used for medical purposes such as headaches ect. and then shifted to recreational applications such as soft drinks or energy drinks to increase energy.

The usage of caffeine has increased since first founded. Caffeine can help headaches and also paired with painkilling medications for improving pain relief, mental alertness and increase glucose. This drug is also possibly effective for asthma, weightless, and preventing type 2 diabetes. It can be misused if you tend to rely on caffeine to get high or to satisfy a caffeine deficiency. I personally, drink diet coke for the caffeine aspect, and it’s extremely unhealthy (example of misuse). Recent trends of this drug are pretty self explanatory—soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee, and/or tea. The current use of caffeine is the same as centuries ago, however, they have B12 shots or pills that people have been seen taking to increase energy levels for personal use or weight loss.  Caffeine has been and will be around for a very long time and is able to be found in many forms. I think it’s interesting how many ways someone could encounter caffeine.

5 comments June 7th, 2014

Hello world!

Welcome to Blogs.uww.edu. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

1 comment May 30th, 2014


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