Our drug addicted society

Like everyone do sometimes I felt a bit tired today, so I went down to the local shop to buy a bottle of coke and some energy soft drink, both containing Caffeine. For some reason I started thinking about the fact that in the form of Caffeine taken in the form of coffee, tea, cola softdrinks and energy drinks like redbull etc., the world population is on a daily basis drugging itself with what I guess is a form of performance enhancing drug. Combine that with gigantic volumes of weak painkillers based on paracetamol that people are taking to combat headaches and so on I can’t help but feel we have a situation where the world has made itself dependent on drugs to keep going. And while there is of course a big step up to stuff like Amphetamine the principle is the same. Taking drugs to be able to yield/produce more.

Not sure where I am going with this apart from feeling its a bit of a paradox that we have a drug addicted society fighting for ‘clean sports’ and waging a ‘war on drugs’. On the other hand I guess the situation isn’t that different from everyone needing water to survive, yet we still try to help people from drowning :)

8 thoughts on “Our drug addicted society”

  1. See Daniel Davies commenting on the whole caffeine thing back in 2003 (http://tinyurl.com/fgmnf), especially where he wonders what the consequences will be of “the world’s greatest superpower (a superpower which has always had a very problematic relationship with drugs) finally finding a chemical it truly wants to get fucked up on”.

  2. Actually, I tried both amphetamine and cocaine before I ever tried coffee. My first encounter with coffee was at midnight before a deadline, when I was really tired but had lots of programming left to do. So I downed three cups, and was totally blown away by how powerful it was. I still had trouble sleeping at 8 in the morning, and was shaking constantly.

    To me, having never tried caffeine before, it was way more powerful than cocaine, and somewhat similar to amphetamine (although amphetamine gave me a more comfortable buzz, while caffeine was just disturbingly intense).

    I’ve since become a regular coffee drinker and it seems I’ve developed a tolerance for it over time, as it no longer has that powerful an effect on me. But it did highlight the hypocracy of a society that views amphetamine as pure evil in powder form, while it’s totally accepted to drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day to “keep going”.

  3. Caffeine is quite the powerful stimulant and it would definitely be outlawed if it wasn’t for the our perception that caffeine is legal and therefore not a true drug, it’s all a bunch of hypocrisy really.
    Same for alcohol which is far more damaging than most recreational drugs.
    I also wonder how many people don’t really realize they are addicted to caffeine.

    I view coffee as I view other recreational drugs that I do, never get into a usage routine, moderation is key and know its effects :)

  4. I don’t drink tea/coffee/coke/pepsi etc for the very reason that I don’t wish to drug myself up constantly.

    On the other hand, I’m quite happy to drink a bottle of beer in an evening, so I suppose I’m a bit of a hypocrite.

    Anyway, I find it quite amusing that when I meet new people they find it odd that I don’t drink tea/coffee, and would instead prefer water. At least by not drinking caffinated drinks often (at least not intentionally), when I do need to stay awake they have a reasonable effect on me.

  5. I gave up caffeine something like 13 or 14 years ago when my body acquired perma-shakes. I didn’t enjoy the withdrawl, nor the couple years of crazy sleep patterns.

    What’s wild is that now I feel like I finally have a ton more energy. I can generally stay up late through just force of will. Getting up early in the morning isn’t hard.

    My drug of choice remains alcohol, but even that I find I consume only sparingly.

  6. I read a factoid which claimed Eskimos (inuit?) were the only society that didn’t include drugs in their society. Food, religion, pleasure, it seems just about everyone finds a suitable excuse. Prohibition doesn’t work.

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