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Excellent News! I'm Not An Addict, I'm Just Chemically Dependent!

By Widge - posted 02.02.12 @ 10:40 pm
Red Bull vending machine

Just put it over there by the other three. Thanks.

I had no idea that Demi Moore was supposedly a "Red Bull addict." According to an article at The Daily Beast, she's been using them as meal replacements. As in, not eating, just drinking Red Bull. That's the impetus for their article, but I felt compelled to write something after seeing two things in their article.

First, the author cites a particular study. Now granted, there are a number of studies listed in the article that state all kinds of results from consuming caffeine. And if health and science have taught us anything, it's that, in general, Studies will show you coffee or red meat or [insert thing here] will cure cancer one week and rain it down on you the next week. Studies, in general, are not actionable.

That all being said, you can understand why this bit from the study caught my attention:

According to at least one study, merely believing that caffeine speeds us up can speed us up.

So by talking up the fact that my caffeine tolerance has reached such a ridiculous level that caffeine intoxication is a distant memory...that's making it even more true?

If I try to think like I was back when I was in high school, addicted (well, we'll get to that word in a second) to Sun Drop and just starting down a glorious road of stimulant abuse enhancement...then I will get a better buzz? I will try this experiment out myself. Certainly, certainly worth getting action about that one.

The other thing that struck me was that I really like Brad Anderson. He said this:

What does Red Bull contain that could be addictive? Its main points are sugar and caffeine... caffeinism is a chemical dependency, not a true addiction. Some people get headaches if they don't get their caffeine, but that doesn't come close to the life-altering dysfunction caused by cocaine, alcohol, or heroin.

Why should you listen to Brad Anderson when he tells you this? Because Anderson is "Chief of the Department of Addiction Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Northwest." So my assumption is he knows a thing or two about the topic.

So there you go: I can no longer, in good conscience, borrow the line from House: " I said I was an addict. I didn't say I had a problem." Well, going forward I'll just paraphrase it.

Anyway, let me just take a moment to wince at how this is going to make it a huge deal about energy drinks again in the press, when really, it's like anything else: dumb people who take no responsibility for their own actions are probably going to take themselves out with something, whether it's Red Bull or a car or by watching so much reality TV their eyes stop working in rebellion (<--scientific FACT).

I like what Anderson had to say close to this subject: "If you're Demi Moore and you're drinking Red Bull, only Red Bull and lots of Red Bull, is it an addiction or is it just stupid?"

Well said, Mr. Anderson. If I ever meet you in person, I'm definitely buying you a coffee.

Thanks to ScottC for the headsup. Image from CheesyCam.

Read More About:

Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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