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The coffee addiction phenomenon

Can people actually get addicted to coffee?

First you get the coffee, then you get the power, then you get the women. / Brett Nielsen
First you get the coffee, then you get the power, then you get the women. / Brett Nielsen

Nothing makes me jump up and down with glee while smiling profusely more than the sound of coffee percolating in the morning. It is so heavenly. The drip, drip, drip of the coffee maker, the rich smell and killer taste of a strong, black cup of coffee, and just literally everything about coffee makes me love it. Am I addicted to it? I sure as heck think so!

I usually drink between 8-12 cups of coffee per day. Sinful, I know. If Tim Horton’s dark roast was a male human being, I’d totally marry him and hand out little Tim Horton’s mugs as party favours at my wedding. Can you tell that’s my favourite coffee?

Anywho, why do I drink such an insane amount of coffee? Well, a) it tastes amazing b) it keeps me awake so I can survive life each day c) it makes for great poops, and d) it keeps my family friends at ease around me because I seem to turn into a grouchy, rude, rather large monster when I don’t drink it.

Personally, the only things I don’t like about drinking coffee are that it makes me pee constantly and it makes my pee smell super rank. Gross, I know. Now, what about some of the other staff members at the Carillon? Are they as addicted to coffee as I am? Let’s find out! Production Manager Kyle Leitch, News Editor Alec Salloum, Multimedia Editor Brady Lang, Op-Ed Editor Taras Matkovsky, Editor-in-Chief Michael Chmielewski, and Sports Editor Matt Wincherauk graced me with some answers to some hard-hitting coffee questions.

How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?

Kyle Leitch: Anywhere from 2 to 13. 13 is a bad day.

Alec Salloum: Way too fucking much. Like a pot a day on average. More on stressful or busy days.

Brady Lang: 1 if I need it. 8 on a bad day.

Taras Matkovsky: I usually drink 2 a day.

Michael Chmielewski: 6 to 7.

Matt Wincherauk: Zero. I avoid coffee because if I started drinking it, I know I’d be spending a small fortune a month at Starbucks and Tim Horton’s. I’m cheap.

What’s your favourite coffee? Where do you get it?

KL: Kicking Horse’s 454 Horsepower blend. I get it from wherever it’s on sale, honestly.

AS: Black and dark roast. I get my coffee from wherever the line is shortest or from the closest pot.

BL: Tim’s regular. Can’t go wrong with it!

TM: Favourite coffee is anything at The Green Spot.

MC: Dark roast, black. Shout out to Stone’s Throw just across the street from the University!

MW: Don’t have one. I’m afraid that I’d eventually like some really sugary, awful drink from Starbucks. I’ll take my hot chocolate. Extra marshmallows please.  

Why do you drink coffee?

KL: I drink coffee entirely because it’s bad for you and I hate myself.

AS: To dull the pain.

BL: Usually to wake myself up after a rough night on the town.

TM: It’s a good stimulant and if done right, it tastes so good when drunk black.

MC: To achieve goals, conquer my enemies, not fall asleep, and because I like the taste.

MW: If I did drink coffee, it would be to generally just survive. Waking up early every morning and having late nights have probably put decades on my life already. I’m not sure how I’ve lasted this long.

What’s your least favourite side effect of drinking coffee?

KL: Occasionally, I’ll get this feeling like someone is stomping on my head, chest, and stomach. That might be attributable to the coffee.

AS: Well, by this point I’m pretty sure I have an addiction. I fear that if I try to quit cold turkey, I’ll get the shakes and splitting headaches.

BL: Can I say it? …bowel movements….

TM: None that I’ve noticed so far. Maybe I’m addicted without realizing it?

MC: When I don’t drink enough and I get headaches.

MW: No coffee side effects for me. The side effect that I get from not drinking coffee, however, is the ability to smugly say that I don’t drink coffee.

As you may have noticed, while Wincherauk doesn’t seem to be bitten by the coffee addict bug (bastard), Salloum wholeheartedly admits he has an addiction, Matkovsky admits he may possibly have an addiction, and the other staff members seem to be well on their way to full-blown coffee addictions. With this knowledge in mind, I beg to ask this question: from a psychological perspective, can people actually get addicted to coffee?

Well, Neil Child, a guidance counsellor at Campus Regina Public and psychology professor at the University of Regina who loves his Americanos and drinks one cup of coffee every morning as he reads a couple international newspapers and psychology blogs, states, “For sure people get addicted to coffee. Morning coffees are habitual. Coffee with cake is habitual. Habits are (really) early stages of addictions. I’m thinking a coffee addiction could arguably be a positive addiction (as described by William Glasser, founder of Reality Therapy).”

Hmmm…a positive addiction, eh? Is there really such a thing? I guess when you sit down and take a really hard look at this situation, consuming large amounts of coffee is probably less harmful than snorting copious amounts of cocaine.

Child goes on to say, “Caffeine is a mood-altering drug and, therefore, can offer that feel-good sensation in the morning. ‘Having coffee’ is a social experience, and social experiences, by design are beneficial.”

Seems like a positive addiction to me! Ah, but of course, there are drawbacks to coffee addiction. According to Child, drinking too much coffee can cause hallucinations, disturb your sleep if you drink it too late at night, cause physical jitters, and lead to headaches if you try and put the mug down.

The fact that you can actually have withdrawal effects like headaches when you quit consuming coffee leads me to believe even further that people can actually get addicted to coffee. I mean, let’s be real here, if you weren’t addicted to something, you probably wouldn’t have withdrawal effects if you quit doing that something.

Now, you’re probably thinking “Screw the drawbacks and withdrawal crap! I’m going to keep drinking coffee ‘cause it creates wonderful bowel movements, and that’s always a bonus!”

Unfortunately, there is a downside to pooping and peeing constantly.

“Coffee is a diuretic and, therefore, causes dehydration,” states Child.

Gosh darn it. I guess too much coffee + increased peeing and pooping activity = dehydration. So sad.

Nevertheless, despite these ever-so-unfortunate negatives to being addicted to coffee, this lovely beverage is fairly tame and does not seek to destroy your life. Obviously, too much of a good thing, including coffee, isn’t healthy, but, as Child says, “Be it a solitary sip while reading the morning paper, or a social sip during an evening chat, drinking coffee is generally considered to be a positive experience. And there is nothing wrong with that.”

Boom! There we have it folks! You can sure as heck get addicted to coffee, but this addiction is most definitely a positive one. Huzzah!

So, until society comes up with a way to inject coffee into your veins through an IV (which could prove to be more detrimental to your health than simply drinking coffee), I say keep drinking.

Don’t even try to use moderation, ‘cause if you’re a coffee addict, the whole concept of moderation is bull shit anyway.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEHhVvaRMIE

About Destiny Kaus

Former carillon production manager/arts editor/arts writer.