Drug Addiction


Coca Cola Addiction

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‘Coca-Cola addiction? Come on, how can anyone become addicted to a soda?’ Is that your reply to the above title subject? Well, as strange as it may sound to some, there are actually people who are addicted to Coca-Cola soda.

At one time this was literally truer in the early days of Coca-Cola than it is today. Invented in 1886 by a Civil War veteran, at one time Coca-Cola actually contained the drug cocaine until it was removed in 1906 and banned by law in 1914. In fact, the “Coca” part of Coca-Cola’s name is actually an abbreviation for cocaine.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Nik Aizu

Today, Coca-Cola is a popularly-sold beverage all around the world; it is often the top soft drink beverage of choice. There is nothing wrong or illegal about drinking Coca-Cola; whether one drinks it or not is one’s own personal choice.

But nevertheless, it can be addictive to some consumers, because even though cocaine is no longer among its ingredients, there is another drug that is: Caffein. Caffein is a stimulant that is generally used in coffee or coffee-related beverages, it is also used in a lot of cola drinks, especially Coca-Cola. Though caffein is not deemed an illegal and harmful substance, for some persons it very well may be.

It has been observed by medical professionals that when taken in large doses, caffein can be very addictive. Have you ever heard someone say that they’ll simply die if they don’t have a cup of coffee? Well, that shows you just how addictive caffein can be.

Well, the same can be true of soft drink beverages that contain the drug caffein, including the much-loved Coca-Cola. Again, it is one’s own choice whether they choose or continue to use Coca-Cola as a beverage. It is not unlawful or illegal.

But just because something is not unlawful or illegal does not mean it is not nonetheless addictive. In many places the smoking of tobacco is not considered illegal, unless it is done in public places where there are people and animals that have to breathe in such loathsome fumes. But it is unquestionably addictive, a fact that most people will not deny.

Yes, there are people who are actually addicted to Coca-Cola, yes, the much-loved, world-famous Coca-Cola soda. But unlike cigarettes, there is no warning label that specifies that drinking such a beverage or beverages that contains caffein is addictive and particularly harmful to some consumers.

If you or your loved ones feel that you have developed an addiction to Coca-Cola or any other caffein-related drinks, then perhaps you may need medical treatment or at least advice on what to do if you are. Like any other addictive drug, you will probably be given advice on what to do.

For example, you may need to be gradually weaned off the drug caffein, much like an infant has to be weaned from mother’s milk to eating solid foods as they mature. You might even be strongly urged to stay away from such an potentially addictive drug altogether.

Of course, whether one chooses to break free from Coca-Cola addiction or not is entirely left up to them. It is their own responsibility to decide whether you will drink the above beverage or whether you will not. Just as it is true with other substances, it will require great determination and the will to break free.

Again, there is nothing considered illegal or wrong with drinking Coca-Cola; that is the consumer’s own decision. But if you begin to feel that you are developing an addiction, that you simply can’t live without Coca-Cola, then perhaps that is the time to get the qualified help that you need.

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  • Esmeralda D. Iniguez

    Hi there my name is Esmeralda and I am a Cola Addict. I am 18 years old. As a child I always drank Cola. When we were taken away our foster parents did not let us drink Cola nor eat any kinds of sweets. Our foster parents were the ones that had those privliges. Not even there children. I think not having Cola for months really triggered my taste buds. Nowdays I drink atleast 5 cans a day.

  • Patrick

    5 cans per day of coca cola is not too bad, really. I would try to cut that down a bit more but don’t beat yourself up too much. I know people who drink 18 or even 24 cans in a day.

    Five is sort of a lot but just replace one of them with tea or water. Then after a week, replace a second with tea or water. Repeat this until you are down to your desired level of consumption. Good luck!

  • Nor needs Coke

    For many Coke addicts it’s not the caffeine or sugar. Sure the amounts of these substances are sure to have an effect but many coke addicts like myself are perfectly happy with caffeine free coke. When I moved to the third world, the local coke is made with sugar and not corn syrup. The overall sugar level is less than 50% of the US product yet I was perfectly happy with the usual level of consumption. Replacing with other drinks never worked.

    I have learned from many sources of extract oils that are part of the recipe. I have read that some of these oils, particularly in combinations, increase serotonin levels and impact overall mood (brain chemicals). Especially the cinnamon and neroli (a type of cinnamon) and the nutmeg oils.

    But like all addictions we have the power to just stop. It just takes effort – for some, lots of effort. But realizing what I just wrote, perhaps involving a psychiatrist for appropriate medications during the process will help.

  • Esmeralda D. Iniguez

    Mostly for me it is all in the taste, taste is a huge factor in my cola addiction. Taste has a lot with how you treat what you eat or drink. I love the cold wet great tasting coca cola in my mouth and pleasing my tounge.

  • http://www.180DegreesStudio.com MadelineHere

    My name is Madeline and I have a lifetime addiction to Coca Cola.

    These days it’s “Caffeine Free Coke”. You see, caffeine will cause your nerves to swell, and because of a horseback riding injury, I need to not have that happen or I get great pain in my sciatic nerve. So, “No – it’s not the caffeine,” says I.

    It’s Coke – not any other soda. While I really like juices – therefore sweet drinks, I don’t get a headache or irritable if I go more than a day without some orange juice. Let me feel a little “off” and I’ll realize that for some reason I hadn’t “been able” to have a Coke in a day or two.

    It’s not brown sodas – Pepsi is gross I think. Root beer yummy, and with no caffeine, one would think a great substitute for me. Nope. And any cola not a “Coca” cola – is a yucky undrinkable faker to me. Better off with Sprite or even water.

    Speaking of water – it’s not the Bubbles. I mean – I do like a cold glass of water. And I make sure to drink bunches everyday – cause we are supposed to right? (Plus I am just a thirsty girl. I like to drink.) And as I mentioned I really like juices – no bubbles there. Besides, I often mix my juices with seltzer, and that would quench the sugar/ bubble craving if that was it.

    At any given time my refrigerator will have milk, four different kinds of juices, coconut water (is that a juice?) Gatoraid, Lemonaid, Orange or Grape soda, and ice cold filtered water. I also drink hot teas and Cuban Style espresso (yes decaff.) As I said, “I’m a drinker.” Oh but wait. Don’t forget those two cans of coke in the fridge, always replaced so there is at least one very cold, right in front of all those beverages on the top shelf.

    I find it interesting to hear how many people in conversations like this say they do or did drink two liters a day. I did too. I have made a huge effort in my life to curb it. I think about things such as down in the Southern United States, a coke is used to pour on your windshield if you have been driving through a bug “storm”. Why? The acid in it gets rid of all their sticky little bodies like nothing else. And how many chemicals are in Coke? It just can’t be natural and good to drink that stuff. So I have often managed to rein myself in to just a can a day. In restaurants I order water and a coke. (Water for “drinking” through the meal – Coke for sipping, as it just makes the meal better.) I’ll get re-fills on the water but will not allow the waitperson to refill the Coke – which I nurture to last through the meal. (Really I do.)

    Look at all the thought I give it. I even did a Google on “what in Coca Cola is addictive” which brought me to this article. Come on. This is an addiction. The serotonin (mentioned above by Nor) is an interesting idea. But I am sure whatever something that is in Coke, whether the company has been conscious of it forever or not, is addictive. Something.

    And like most additions – it doesn’t hit everyone. Why would people drink Pepsi if it did? Yet, it’s not just me. Look at all the folks here and on similar conversation threads I’ve read. Something is addictive to some of us and it’s not caff, sugar, bubbles, or some “sugar substitute chemical” (the blame/reason that gets given to people who try to be healthier about their Coke addiction and go to a diet coke version.)

    I really wish I knew what it was. Would it stop me from drinking it? I doubt it. Nothing else has and I can think of good reasons. But I would like to know. Maybe there would be a “healthier” or “more natural” substitute. And at least I would have something to reply to those folks who don’t know the beverage selection in my refrigerator rivals a convenient store – those folks who dutifully tell me that it’s just the sugar or the bubbles.

    These days I think it’s honorable of me to have worked to limit myself to the one can (well, on many days – maybe it’s more like two lately.) And I do enjoy it. So heck. Could be worse. Could be cocaine.


  • http://N/A steffon

    i am a horrable caffine addict i drink at least a 12 pak a day and have just come to realise that mabie its my problemn. all my life i have had symtpoms of adhd and other mental illnesses. but reflecting on times when i was in trouble and had to go to facilities where such drinks were not alowed or were hard to afford. i remember fealing alot better mentally and physically. i read on other websites that surveys were done on kids and the kids that drink 3 or more soda’s a day almost all suffered from hyperactivty or other mental illness symptoms. but now i just feal overwelmed and it seems like it doesnt matter now but i guess i do still feal like shi! and mabie it would be different if i stoped. well ive proved to myself but im just powerless to stop unless forced.

  • http://www.160bpm.co.uk David

    Hi just dropping by not a big drinker by comparison to what I have read and it’s always sugar free for me. I have a real craving for the brown stuff the dry mouth the idea the constant call what I would really like now is an ice cold can. If you want to know if you are addicted leave the cans and wallet at home and go out for the day to work etc. and see how long it is before your beg steal or borrow a can or money to get your fix…The caffeine is obviously addictive but then I like tea and drink coffee occasional. Look up the amounts of caffeine in coke, tea and coffee, 35mg (can), 50mg respectively with coffee kicking butt somewhere between 80-175mg per serving. I can have a coffee and I still want/need a coke. When I am down I drink more coke, double usual intake and the price of coke has gone up I bet you all know the best / cheapest places to buy the stuff I certainly do. One of you spoke of the flavour, the feel of the chilled can and the tickle on the tongue doing it for you. Well another test, does the first can in the morning taste fantastic, after you have had a couple, they don’t quite taste as good do they, still nice but not quite so sweet or refreshing? Your addicted your brain needs the first one, so it comes with a healthy lump of satisfying neurotransmitters to stimulate the pleasure centre of the brain. I am with those who have gone before in this little forum caffeine is good but I think we are all particularly sensitive to the neurotransmitter effects of the nut megs Elemicin, Myristicin and may be a little of the Neroli oil and cinnamon too. I have come off the coke to save my teeth before it is too late. I am getting withdrawal head aches even with drinking enough caffeine to fulfill my requirements draw your own conclusions. Coke Cola are screwing which us we’re addicted its not just the caffeine and they know it I’m sure! I am having a real fight to get off the stuff. Good luck to you all, dump the brown stuff if you CAN

  • Dai

    First of all, im sorry for my english, spanish is my first language. Ive been drinking coca cola since i was 3 years old, im now 18, and i still remember the first time my parents let me drink some soda for my birthday. Before that, my family would harldy ever drink coke, but since i started to ask for it, i think we all became addicts.
    By the time i was 12, i realize that my mom, brother and i would drink 2 bottles of coke per day (here a bottle is 2,2 litres). My dad had come to the idea that it was like a drug, that we wouldnt be able to stop drinking it.
    So one day, they decided that we would only drink soda just on weekends, believe me, it was the worst thing that ever happened, i had terrible headaches, i would get in a horrible mood, and buy a can of coke at school, it was hard, and i didnt know why.
    Then i became kind of used to the idea of drinking coca on weekends, but recently i had like and epiphany (thats how you say it?). Im now studyng to become a dentist, and i always took care of my teeth, but somehow, i would have terrible cavities, so did my brother and my mom. The only one that had never had a cavities in my family was my dad, and he was the one that didnt like coke.
    The other day i asked my dentist what could be the reason why i had cavities if i brushed my teeth and floss every day, i mentioned the coke, but he says its not possible, because you dont keep it in your motuh too long in order to affect your teeth.
    But im sure theres something in coke that is affecting my teeth, im now determined to stop drinking it (forever), and want to know the effects of this drink in oral health.
    Would you please tell me if you think the same?
    And just FYI ive replaced coca with fruit juice and coffee, im doing well right now, not craving for coke but with a little headache.

  • Patrick

    @ Dai – yes regular Coke is terrible for your teeth.

    Switch to diet Coke and it will taste bad for 2 weeks but then you will be used to the taste and it will taste good to you.

    Or switch to water, tea, juice, coffee, etc. They say that coffee has some real health benefits, they are finding….

  • Dakk

    My name is Dakk and I am addicted to Coca-Cola. When I was a child my grandparents would always greet me with the same thing, an ice-cold can of Pepsi. I don’t really like sweets or ice cream very much, but I’ve always loved soda or tonic. For the past 6 months I’ve had a 16 or 20 oz Coca-Cola every day which isn’t a problem because I’m 18 and still have a pretty good metabolism. I understand that one drink isn’t harmful; my body can process the amount of sugar and caffeine without a problem. I’m afraid here I must play the devils advocate, and say that drinking Coke is good for you (in smaller amounts). Ever since I began drinking Coke regularly and exercising, I’ve actually gone from weighing 280 lb to 230 lb in a couple months. I also believe people who say soda stunts your growth are false, because I’ve had soda my whole life and am 6’4”! I know it isn’t a weight loss tool, but the one Coca-Cola a day certainly isn’t hurting.

  • Jo

    Wow – I’m definitely not alone! I couldn’t agree more that there is something addictive in the Coca-Cola products. I can pass up any other soft drink with no problem, but I feel like I have to have my cokes everyday (usually 2 – 3). As for the sugar and caffiene and such, I only drink Caffiene Free Diet Coke which you would think is nothing more than brown water with artificial sweetener and a kick. Whatever it is, when I’m thirsty or just want something to sip on, that is my choice. It’s that cold, burning, sweet, kick in the mouth that I crave. Fortunately most restaurants don’t carry that one so I end up drinking water for some balance, but I keep a stock at home. I guess it could be so much worse as far as addictions go, but I have to limit myself or I would drink pretty much nothing else.

  • Emmit

    Do a study on Ph balance (acid/alkaline) of the human body. High acidic sodas cause extreme blood acidity and therefore a multitude of illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. e.g. Ever hear the expression “give him 2 amps of bicarb” when a person has a heart attack? The acidic blood causes the heart muscle to spasm. Bicarb directly into the heart stops the attack. Worse yet is the artificial sweetener in sodas. I personally know at least 60 people allergic to “neutrasweet” aka phenalalanine, etc. I can drink one can and get a massive maigraine in 45 minutes that 6 excedrins won’t touch. My children get nausea and vomiting and maigraines. Your choice= live a normal life or a life of addictions.

  • unaiza

    hey, im a coke addict thou not a big one but yes i have to agree tht i easily have 4 to 5 cans a day
    i want to give it up nw coz im constantly gaining weight,but i have no idea how to

  • unaiza

    plus i strongly feel tht its also effecting my skin n teeth :S

  • vholloway

    Wow, im so glad im not alone. I grew up having a can of coke when I was good and then when I got older I would want one when I was stressed. I’m pretty good about it now but when stressed a extra large coke from McDonalds with tons of ice always makes me happy! I wish I could get over this, im going to end up being 400 pounds by the time im 35 if I dont quit. I would suggest while raising children never never let them have coke and limit any candy’s or sweets, it will help them as adults.

  • Dian

    I am addicted to Coca-Cola, I am currently trying to stop again. It’s worse than when I quit smoking, which I never relapsed on. Coke however, I can stop for a month or two and then I find myself back up to 1-2 liters a day. Just over 24 hrs stopped and I am fatigued, irritable, and have a headache. I am forcing myself to drink water and I feel myself waiting for a buzz that doesn’t come. I cannot limit myself to one, because I will drink another. I don’t like to think of the possible kidney, liver, and other organ damage caused by such high amounts of high fructose corn syrup and the other crap in Coke. I lose weight when I go off coke, gain it when I drink so much. I feel horrible but I honestly think I have a idea of what alcoholics go through. Crazy. Good luck everyone battling this addiction.

  • jesse lopez

    when im not drinking it i feel kinda bored/lazy but when i drink a little or a lot that crisp clean taste of soda fizz on my tastebuds comforts me and i get more active and start playing sports kinda weird idk if im addicted or not

  • Leon

    I knew it wasn’t silly that i was addicted to this stuff. Most people , when i do tell them i’am addicted to coke just give me that baffled look. Yes…i am addicted to a soda drink. To be fair…when i was young my dad you to stack crates of 2 litre bottles of coke in the cupboard…and for weeks i would only drink coke. Going days without even a sip of water….Now…..its sorta of similar…2 litres of cokes in the fridge. Used when eating, used when watching tv…or on pc and generaly when im thirsty. Pepsi and any other drink is a pale comparrison and nether of these drinks can truely replace the coke i crave.

    i smoked….have done (pretty heavily), quit but its nothing quite like the coka cola addiction.

    I NEEEEEEED something to replace it…the buzzz, the taste…the feel of it on my tounge. I can go a day…without it however…it takes 2 for me to start feeling my nervs going to hell and wanting my fix.

    I also seem to want it more when i’m stressed for some reason.

    Any suggestions for something i can drink at intervals when im doing nothing to sort of distract me from the fact im not frinking coke? ….and please don’t suggest a juice or a soda of some type.
    (milkshake was probaly the best one for a while, but i had to Drink gallons of it…managed to stop me for a mounth of coke)

  • Maggie

    Its so nice to read everyone’s comments. At least I don’t feel so alone or so different. I am trying to go cold turkey as I write this. I have not had a coke in 4 days. We will see. the temptation is there all of the time. For me it is the bite , the way the drink feels in my throat. Nothing else takes the place of that. But the weight that this has put on me is in the morbidly obese category. I recently had to do a food diary and what I discovered was that even if I don’t change what I eat, without the calories that the coke gives me and the sodium, I will lose weight. Unlike some of you I don’t like the caffeine free or the sugar free, they don’t taste the same.

    But there is an emotional componant too. Coke is comfort. I hope I make it. I’ve tried to get off before

  • Desmond

    Coke has an addictive quality no doubt. I was shocked to see how many non returnable empties of 2litres have been accumulating in my store room over the years. I use them for storing rain water. Although I am not a Coke Guzzler I normally have a 100 ml.at a time. Not more than 2x100ml. a day. A 2Lt. Coke will last a week. I am appalled to see how people consume large glasses of Coke every time they drink it. I dont drink beer nor any alcoholic bevarages. Wine is a “Mocker” Strong drink is poison. I have resolved to abstain from it more than fifty years ago. God has kept me in good health ever since. I am a Christian believer in the Gospel of Christ. Every person has his own will to decide what is good for him or her, or not, without dire consequences. I hate sitting in the company of people who consume several cans of beer at one sitting. How can the body absorb it? That is what makes the belly distends.
    I decided to give up Coke just to prove that it lies within my power to abstain from it, if it poses a threat to my well being. I am convinced however that there must be something about coke that makes it the most consumed bevarage on earth. Perhaps the formula should again be scrutinised for content. Who rules it is a mystery to me. Any thing that wields too much power is questionable. I rest my case.

  • Glenda

    Hey Guys,

    I know what you’re going through. I’m in a health class that made me sign a health contract at the beginning of the semester. I promised to reduce my intake of Coca Cola. It has been very difficult, like all of you, I had the headaches, the irritability, and fatigue. Somehow, I’ve managed to stop drinking it all together. Tracking it week by week and having to be accountable for the consumption seems to have helped me stop.

    Good Luck to all of you, just keep trying to minimize consumption for a healthier lifestyle.

  • jen

    cant believe how many peolpe are addicted to coca cola, i thought it was just me lol, i havent had a can of coke for nearly 2 days now and since i havent my head has been pounding, i drink atleast 6 cans of coke aday alot more when i have more in and have been drinkin coke ever since i was a child i am now 28,im stopping drinking it as i am on the weightwatchers diet, also it has affected my teeth really bad,hope these headaches fade soon coz there not nice,think im goin to start weanin myself of it as to stop these headaches but il just stick to diet coke coz of my diet

  • Allan

    Hi my name is Allan

    I’m currently about a year into trying to get myself completely of coca-cola. I originally started when I was about 14 because for some reason it helped me cope with stress. When I turned 17 I became homeless and because of that the amount I drank increased to 48 cans a day which needless to say was hard to afford. I’m 18 now and down to around 5 or 6 cans a day but my problem is that after drinking it for so long I literally cannot stomach any other kind of drink (even water or other. brands of cola). I was wondering of anyone else has has this problem and has found a solution.

    Thanks and good luck to everyone else out there

  • lost

    I have tried three times to stop but every time I do I think about it and I just can’t drink it and then I start again. I have even tried to do somethings different like putting water in a coca cola bottle and think it was coca cola. I don’t know what to do I feel lost but then I saw all of your comments and I got inspired and I have lost over 30lbs just by not drinking coke. thank’s

  • Andrew

    If I don’t have coca cola my head hurts really bad, if I don’t have a 2 liter then I need one right away. I can’t go without 20 minutes without the craze in my head that yells, coke, coke get it now drink it, I can drink a 2 liter in a hour if I’m play video games, and I get one any chance I get like at the store. It has overcome my life and its become a everyday thing…

  • Jp

    Hi, I work in a restaurant in a very hot city, so, you must drink something thru the day, unfourtanly for me, when I start working here instead of drink water, I choose Coke Cola, I was drinking like 4 or 5 a day, because of the high sugar level, someone recomend me to change to Diet coke, so I did, but now, I can´t stop drinking Diet coke, sometimes I drink almost 10 cans a day, so, the change of coke to diet, it just get things worst.

  • abutterflyloves

    I can give up alcohol, cigarettes, candy, chocolate, potato chips, but I cannot give up Coca Cola Classic. I try to not buy it at the grocery store on Friday, but by Monday.. I am craving.

  • PAMN


  • Mary C

    Living a very active life, I use to drink alot of water. Didn’t really want to get into the soda phase. In 1980 I moved from Pa to Va big climate change! While I loved it ,it was super HOT and to cool off everyone went to the river with coolers of soda and beer . While I chose soda Coke was the popular drink then. And I found myself truely craving it more than any drink. Something was just right with the flavor and feeling afterward such as calm and relaxed.
    As it is now 2013 and I am still finding myself needing to choose it over any drink esp after a long stessful day at work. Coffee psets my stomach Coke a Cola does not, wonder why???

  • AnnL

    I am just coming to accept the fact I am a coca-cola addict.

  • Roxann Gurman

    I stopped drinking cola all together when my taste buds started yelling at me that it tastes like swamp water

  • http://www.spiritualriver.com/coca-cola-addiction/ Max Daniel

    I have Adhd I’m 16 and when i was younger I didn’t drink coke all that much but I grew up in a house where we can tell coke apart from rc cola and just about Amy drink you give us and we found out after I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was about 6 that mountain dew actually helped me sleep coke would wake me up but it would take a lot to even keep me up I don’t think its the caffeine I believe its the taste because their is just no soda like it nothing beats an ice cold can of coke and taking that first sip is just amazing and the next sip is better then last until before you know it its gone

  • Barbara

    My name is Barbara and I am addicted to coca cola. Ever since I was a child I had plentiful access to soda, and eventually coca cola became the only choice. I’ve written poems as a young teen of my affinity for coca cola. I can’t help but think of it as the nectar of the Gods. A lot of you would agree with me that there is no sufficient substitute. I’ve tried to go cold turkey but it never seems to last and I always end up with some. I probably have habitually drank coke every day since I was about 12 or 13. I’m now 22 and buy them usually 4 12 packs at a time. I have one in the morning instead of coffee or tea to wake me up. I have one with every meal and sometimes with dessert. I know I don’t drink enough water and I feel like my days are numbered because of how much acid i’m putting into my body. I am too young to let coca cola ruin my life like this but unless i’m flat broke I keep buying them. I want to control my habits again.