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Best Way To Beat A Caffeine Addiction? 1337

ethanms writes "I'm pretty sure that I'm addicted to caffeine... I get nasty headaches if I skip coffee and soda for a day. If I go even longer, then the headaches get worse and I start to become (even more of) a pain in the ass to those around me. Within five or ten minutes of a cup of joe or can of Mountain Dew the headache is gone and I feel fine... There's plenty of advice out there for dealing with addiction, but I'm really interested in how other /. users have managed and controlled their own caffeine intake, especially considering how heavily it is pushed by many development / engineering communities. 'Just drink more' isn't really the answer I'm after either."
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Best Way To Beat A Caffeine Addiction?

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  • Easy (Score:5, Funny)

    by boatboy ( 549643 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:36PM (#7855193) Homepage
    Start smoking.
  • suggestion (Score:4, Funny)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:36PM (#7855201) Journal
    get yourself addicted to crack or heroin, or CmdrTaco's dirty underwear.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:37PM (#7855204)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:37PM (#7855205)
    1: coke
    2: smack
    3: weed
    4: crank

    that's fix your caffeine addiction.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:38PM (#7855216)
    That would probably work.. have tubgirl printed at the bottom of a coffee cup.. after you drink your cup of BROWN LIQUID coffee, you see her and never drink coffee again!

    You're a genius!
  • easy (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:40PM (#7855239)
    mix hard alcohol in with your coffee/soda. It might not help your addiction, but you won't be such an uptight asshole either.
  • by Aqua OS X ( 458522 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:41PM (#7855250)
    You could always try medical marijuana. Odds are that'll get rid of the headaches.
  • by leftover ( 210560 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:47PM (#7855321) Homepage
    It certainly did the trick for me!
  • by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:54PM (#7855386)

    He is asking what worked for people in /. land that wanted to stop/curtail their caffeine consumption. He is not asking what he should do about a funny-shaped mole that keeps growing and changing color or how to handle bleeding from weird places. This is more like a group of allergy sufferers discussing which over-the-counter medications worked for them.

    Nutshell version: Lighten up, Francis. :-)
  • Re:Easy (Score:3, Funny)

    by TedCheshireAcad ( 311748 ) <ted&fc,rit,edu> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:07PM (#7855487) Homepage
    I was gonna say booze or suicide, whichever suits your life best.
  • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:15PM (#7855544)
    Well, I gave up all caffiene about 4 years ago, and am very thankful. it has made my life a lot better IMHO.
    I was at a dangerous point (unless people think a whole packet of nodoze-plus in one go is normal..) and just decided to stop.
    Now I am ultra sensitive to caffiene, but just don't need it. It is a very bad physically addictive drug.

    My advice - avoid sugar as a substitute - you can get diet caffiene free cock for example (well, here in NZ anyway).

    Also avoid chocolate, coffee, many caffinated soft drinks, most energy drinks, tea, and any form of 'diet' pill.

    decaf coffee and tea can help, but keep the amount down, BREAKING the addiction is the aim.

    It took me about 3 weeks cold turkey to get back to 'normal'. Asprin and Neurofin in moderate quantities are your friends during this time (NOT paracetamol, it is bad for you!)

    Don't try and wind down the amount - caffiene addiction cannot be addressed like that, the physical addiction will not leave untill your body is clean of it.

    Once it's gone, it's not that hard to avoid.

    Good luck!
  • by harks ( 534599 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:19PM (#7855580)
    I've found that its much much easier to quit caffeine than nicotine or alcohol, because the withdrawal symptoms are not much more than a headache and they go away relatively soon.

    A funny story, a friend of mine had a huge caffeine addiction (drank 20 or so cans of Coke a day) and decided to quit.... he was telling me about how he never has any caffeine any more while drinking his huge iced tea. I asked him about the iced tea, and he had no idea it was caffeinated. "Maybe thats why after I quit drinking Coke, I started drinking a ton of iced tea!"

    So be sure to know that caffeine is found in a bunch of stuff, like tea and chocolate.
  • by Undenied ( 637661 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:23PM (#7855606) Homepage
    isn't asking this question here like going to skid row for advice on how to kick heroin?
  • by forevermore ( 582201 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:24PM (#7855615) Homepage
    *Not* drinking caffeine (a painkiller) means that now I feel the migraines I've apparently been getting for a few years (according to my doctor). They're pretty infrequent, though, so I just keep a bottle of aspirin around.

    Funny. My mom's migraines almost completely stopped when she stopped drinking coffee.

    ps. Bamboo Garden rocks.

  • by dbirchall ( 191839 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:29PM (#7855656) Journal
    Yeah. Turkey is a dish best served cold. Sure, it might suck more than most people's - when I stopped drinking Mt. Dew, my withdrawal was pretty incapacitating and lasted at least 2-3 weeks. (I had $39 in late fees at the library when I finally made it back...)
  • Please! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Roofus ( 15591 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:46PM (#7855768) Homepage
    You fools addicted to caffine are weak! Weak I tell you!

    Now excuse me while I go outside to have a smoke.
  • by jayhawk88 ( 160512 ) <> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:13PM (#7856234)
    I also hear that feeding your children lead-based paint chips can make for a tasty afternoon snack that is low in calories and fat. What more could a parent ask for?
  • by kmassare ( 113285 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:17PM (#7856252)
    I had a similar caffine problem for many years after I started drinking coffee while in the Navy. About five years ago I was on a business trip and got samonella food poisoning during the trip. I barely made it home and was down for six days. Believe me, I had no desire for coffee during that time. After I recovered, I decided that since I hadn't had any coffee for almost a week, I would quit. It worked.
  • by Glass of Water ( 537481 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:29PM (#7856325) Journal
    A: For every "Ask Slashdot", suggest that the question would be better posed to someone else.

    For example:
    "How do I foo?"
    "Ask the foo mailing list, or hire a foo consultant, you moron!"

  • Re:Easy (Score:5, Funny)

    by M. Silver ( 141590 ) <silver@phoe n y x . net> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:49PM (#7856442) Homepage Journal
    Start smoking.

    Getting pregnant worked for me.

    Most slashdotters will have to go with the smoking thing, though.
  • by Joe Tie. ( 567096 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:58PM (#7856496)
    Most problems like that come from too high standards - or even just having standards. Just stop saying "no" to that nice 400lb borderline retarded girl. JUST STOP IT!
  • by MrChuck ( 14227 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:41PM (#7856732)
    When I worked in NY in film and later on Wall St, we drank lots and lots of coffees. And to make us happy, clients and people who needed us would bring us espresso. Life was good.

    Then I worked from home one day and was out of both sugar and milk (yes, I'm a wuss). Meant to go out. 1.5 blocks to my coffee shop, back when they were manned by cool people with good music who made a decent wage. Never got there.

    Spent from 4:30 on in bed with the shades drawn and a headache and "extreme stomach discomfort". (this is a family site.) Decided enough was enough. Got some mountain dew to at least ween off it. (I was drinking 4-5 espresso's/day).

    I now generally stop drinkiing it in July. I get righteous and mock my friends who need coffee. But then, Aug 1, I make a tripple dose latte and enjoy that rush that's been missing for a year. Woo Hoo! That's the payoff

    Reduce intake - duh. Unlike cigarettes, you don't have CRAVINGS for coffee. You have a headache and feel like crap - for a day.
    Drink water (not soda, not beer, just plain water). it's good for you in general. I keep a nalgene bottle by my desk. It hydrates you.
    Caffeine opens blood vessels. Drink water, pop a couple asprins.

    When you really cut off, do it on a wasted saturday (rainy, useless, no thinking needs).
    A Week!? I suppose if you drink 8-10 cups a day. On the other hand, cut back first. My boss switched to decaf in the afternoon. Then started cutting his post-10 AM coffees with half decaf. Ended up with 2 cups of caffeinated per day.

    A day is quite reasonable cause you'll be fuzzy and might feel like crap. And suck it up, this ain't morphine or nicotine. It's freaking coffee. If you're addiction is soda, then it's about sugar.

    Oh, if you're in Europe (france, italy), the above applies less. My french friends mock american coffee. They make me coffee and pass me a glass of water to dilute it to "american strength". (I just dump 2-3 sugars in instead).

    I swear french coffee is:

    • Make 2 espressos.
    • change the grounds
    • dump the 2 espresso's back into the machine through the fresh grounds.
    No needle? Use a cup to injest it.

    Drink less of it

    Drink more water.

    Repeat until no caf.

  • by Herkum01 ( 592704 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:48PM (#7856757)

    Hey look he was on the fire crew. How else was he going to put the fires out? :P

  • Re:Easy (Score:3, Funny)

    by M. Silver ( 141590 ) <silver@phoe n y x . net> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @11:21PM (#7856924) Homepage Journal
    you're preggers?

    Well, no, that was four years ago.

    my quiet and kinda creepy fantasies of eloping with you are ruined.... ruined.... ;-)

    Based on the number of Slashdotters who visited the Phoenyx homepage as a result of my comment, it sounds like you're not alone.

    I suppose, in the interests of not getting anyone's hopes up, I should be changing my sig to something like "Yes, I'm a female geek. I'm also married, and a mommy, and probably too old for you. Sorry."
  • by pseudochaotic ( 548897 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @11:31PM (#7856987)
    Or, take two weeks of vacation and have yourself locked in a room with no access to coffee, just an Internet connection and a toilet, and have your meals passed through the door :-)

    Have you considered that perhaps you're addicted to the Internet?
  • by solprovider ( 628033 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @11:47PM (#7857102) Homepage
    Summary: I kicked the caffeine addiction. The lack of caffeine had me sleeping incredible amounts of time during the withdrawal. Tylenol kept me functional for the months of headaches. I substituted other drinks with varying degrees of success until water became my main drink.

    I was a major caffeine addict. I sometimes drank a few pots of coffee at night, but my major addiction was to Pepsi. I drank at least a gallon of Pepsi each day for 8 years, and sometimes finished 4 2-liter bottles in one day. Sometimes I drank Jolt instead, but still in large quantities. I usually slept about 2 hours per day, with a crash for 12 hours of sleep once a fortnight.

    Pepsi destroyed my stomach. I did not have an ulcer, but I did have constant acid reflux. This may also have become a problem because before the support job, I rarely had to speak much. As phone support, I was talking for 10 hours per day. The new pattern of my mouth constantly moving may have caused my stomach to believe that food was coming, and I rarely ate while doing support. (Anybody doing phone support should have some kind of snack to keep the stomach happy. If you are over-weight, make the snack something like Pirate's Booty that has no value except to give your stomach something to work on.)

    I was transferring from support to administration. My first day as an administrator would not be for 2 months, but I definitely had the job, so I was not worried about my performance in support. It seemed the perfect opportunity to kick the addiction.

    I first switched from Pepsi to Mountain Dew, thinking that the lemon-lime drinks had less caffeine. (You can laugh now.) After reading the label and realizing my mistake, I switched to Gatorade. No caffeine, but tons of sugar to match the Pepsi.

    I slept 10 hours every day during withdrawal, and woke up still tired. I had headaches for the first time in my life. I learned the joys of Tylenol, which was necessary so I could think while learning my new job.

    Withdrawal lasted almost 3 months. After the first 2 months, the sleep I required started to reduce until by 6 months I was sleeping 4 hours a day, which is what I needed before the addiction.

    After about a year, I switched from Gatorade to Sprite. That lasted another year, then I switched to water. I actually overdosed on water. The lack of sugar meant that my tastebuds did not recognize that I was drinking, so I was constantly thirsty. After pouring about 4 gallons of water through my system in 5 hours, my throat was stripped (and I was sick of running to the bathroom every 20 minutes.) I had to alternate Sprite and water for a week. Then I managed to stay with water with an occasional Sprite until this April, when Tropical Sprite (sold under the silly name "Sprite Remix") was released. I really like it, and it became my primary non-alcoholic drink for the Summer, after which I switched back to water.

    If I have any caffeine, I feel it immediately. About half an hour afterwards, I crash; it becomes almost impossible to stay awake. I will not drive a car for the hour after I have caffeine. (This happens because many restaurants have awful-tasting water and do not serve alcohol or Sprite, so I try the root beer. Waitresses usually insist it is not caffeinated, but they are often wrong.)

    The parent post's advice seems good. I wish I had read it before my attempt. One week was not enough for my withdrawal, but YMMV.
  • by penguin7of9 ( 697383 ) on Friday January 02, 2004 @12:38AM (#7857494)
    The gym was really the secret for me. I've been a sworn night person for my entire life. After a month or two at the gym, my body got convinced it was supposed to fire up at 6:30am every day and started taking care of itself.

    Horrible. Most interesting things (art, social events, deep thoughts, love) happen at night. Let that be a warning: go to the gym and civilization goes down the tubes.

    the attention from women'll more than make the effort worthwhile.

    Too bad you won't be awake to take advantage of it.
  • by billmaly ( 212308 ) <> on Friday January 02, 2004 @12:46AM (#7857551)
    This is one of those damned interventions I've read about. GET AWAY FROM ME...I can handle's not a problem, I don't want to stop...NOOOOO GIVE IT BACK...GIVE US BACK OUR PRECIOUS's ours and ......WE....wants it!!!!!!!
  • by Chromodromic ( 668389 ) on Friday January 02, 2004 @12:59AM (#7857619)
    now, i've quit coffee twice successfully in my life (and returned voluntarily and deliberately)

    Possibly, the stupidest statement I've ever read on Slashdot. If you can't see why, then, well, wow.

  • by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) * on Friday January 02, 2004 @02:10AM (#7858073) Journal
    "if you live in London or New York and have ten years worth of mortgage payments in equity."

    I want to meet the loan officers who are actually approving these loans.

    "Hi, I'd like to take out a home equity loan to support my burgeoning cocaine addiction?"



  • by reverius ( 471142 ) on Friday January 02, 2004 @03:39AM (#7858420) Homepage Journal
    If your main source of caffeine is soda, then you really haven't dealt with serious caffeine withdrawal unless you were drinking a few litres a day. I was up to almost a gram a day at my worst last year... just for reference, soda is generally 35-45 mg per serving (55 for mt. dew). So that's maybe 20 servings of soda, assuming a good mix of mt. dew and coke products.

    I of course used much more potent forms of caffeine... coffee, tea in large quantities, and of course candies, gums, mints (TONS of penguin mints... I bought them by the case every month or so), and I even showered with caffeinated soap from thinkgeek...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @05:00AM (#7858624)
    It's fucking COFFEE and SODA. Yeah, yeah, yeah your body gets addicted to the norepinephrine stimulus, blah blah blah--you know what? It's fucking coffee.

    Grow the fuck up, take a fucking painkiller, and quit bitching. Let's see you kick an alcohol or smack addiction, buddy. Holy fucking christ, I have never seen a bigger bunch of pretentious, poor-me fucking white collar idiots who need some sort of crutch 'cuz its chic to have vices.

    You know what? You're an asshole for even comparing this fucking "addiction" to a real one. Documented, or not, it's probably the simplest fucking drug to get off--so just tough it the fuck out.
  • mantra (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2004 @12:24PM (#7860585)
    by caffiene alone I set my mind in motion
    by the brown juice of coffee
    the thoughts aquire speed
    the hands aquire shaking
    the shaking is a warning
    by caffiene alone I set my mind in motion

    with many apologies to Frank Herbert and to whom I have forgotten but learn this from

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling