Heavy Coffee Drinkers Want Coffee A Lot More Than They Actually Like It

If I had to choose between giving up alcohol or coffee, it would have to be alcohol. I just love coffee too much… But do I, really? Or do I just want it, which is different?

Despite being the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world, there’s ongoing debate about just how addictive caffeine is. It does share some of the criteria for dependence: regular users who skip their morning cup will often report withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, for example. “Caffeine use disorder” is even being discussed for potential inclusion in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But is it really addictive in the same fundamental way as a harder drug like cocaine?

A new paper suggests that it is. Researchers have found that heavy coffee drinkers seem to want coffee a lot more than they like it. The implication is that they drink it mostly or entirely to feed their addiction, rather than for pleasure. Continue reading →

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