Is there such a thing as moderate drug addiction?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Dale-c, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    Caffeine is a drug and I for one have discovered that I am addicted to my one cup per day of coffee.

    From a bit of reading I have done, it is very possible to be literally addicted to coffee and only drink 8-12 ounces per day.

    Since we normally look at addictions as being wrong, what about this, since this is normally acceptable?

    BTW, I don't plan on stopping anytime soon, I just thought it might make a good discussion.
     
  2. Winman

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    I also have to have that cup of coffee in the morning. I can go without it, but it seems like something is missing when I do.

    I guess that is an addiction, but I don't think it very harmful. Coffee might even be good in some respects, wakes you up for that drive to work early in the morning.
     
  3. saturneptune

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    Hi Dale, LTNS. Yes, think it will make a good discussion. The term "normally acceptable" is a function of culture and what the powers that be decide over time. For example, in Baptist circles, alcohol is frowned upon in general, but especially drinking enough to produce drunkenness, then addiction. The same crowd sees nothing wrong with gluttony, in fact, thinks it is a virtue during the church pot luck. Some people are addicted to gossip, again, although a very destructive sin, most overlook it. We as flawed humans pick and choose our sins and put them on a pedestal. That has nothing to do with how Scripture or the Lord views the subject.

    Personally, I can see nothing wrong with your coffee drinking. One can be addicted to anything. One can be addicted to shopping or gambling. That fact does not give me or the local church the right to say because one person is addicted, that no one can participate. In fact, the ones we as Baptists have put up on top of the pedestal, gambling, drinking, and dancing, I do not think a Scriptural case can be made for abstaining from any of the three. I do not drink, but feel I have no right to dictate who else does or does not. I do not gamble because I have better things to do with my money, nothing to do with the Bible. I do not dance because I look like a klutz.

    Finally, the pattern I have seen more than any other for people getting addicted to a substance is Lortab. It starts with usually an operation or injury. The doctor prescribes Lortab. The longer they take it, the more it takes to relieve the pain. This goes on for some time. One day the person finally realizes they cannot do without it. That is one situation everyone should be on guard against. Pain medicine is for temporary use.

    Hope you and your family are doing well.
     
  4. Deacon

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    I'm rather sensitive to caffeine - palpitations and insomnia - so I rarely dabble in the drug.

    I'm addicted to my blood pressure meds - without them I'd die... literally. :tongue3:

    Rob
     
  5. saturneptune

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    Until four years ago, I had never been in the hospital, except for birth and a time at age 6 when I had my tonsils out. Today, that would be outpatient. Anyway, four years ago this month I had a six way bypass. I went from no medicine to about ten a day, between the BP, cholesterol, thyroid and an occasional pain pill for sternum pain.

    This sounds ridiculous, but I found myself embarrassed to go to an appointment and have to carry in a bag full of pill bottles. The doctor finally let me bring in a written list.

    I thank the Lord daily for my life and the doctor that found the condition. Months before the operation, I got to where I could not push mow the year (half acre) more than a few strips at a time. I could not carry boxes to the attic, and could barely walk to the end of the block. I had to retire in October 09 because I could no long lift motors, large bearings, and other physical actions. I did not retire on a disability, as I was eligible to retire sometime earlier. A few months after retiring, I got so weak I finally went to be checked out. I had a heart cath done. It was so bad, they operated the next morning. I never went home.

    Four years later, I can cut the entire back yard, and can walk up two flights of stairs. I now work part time at an adult day care. You talk about a lesson in mortality, that was probably the shock of my life. My mom died at 54 from the exact same condition, and I am now seven years beyond that. God through His mercy left me here to do something for Him.

    It certainly puts a new perspective on Psalms 90:10, one of the best longevity verses in the Bible. We are given 70 years, or 80 by strength.

    I say all of this to point out that since the operation, I have lots more compassion for those who are hooked to various things. One can be addicted to anything, not just our Baptist pet sins, like drinking and gambling. I believe the proper definition of addiction is ANYTHING that one cannot set aside, even at the expense of putting the Lord in second place.

    Except for the mercy of God, any one of us could be the one that is addicted. Our response to that as Christians should be a loving support of these folks, and encourage them to do to rid themselves of whatever is haunting their lives. Our roll is not to point an accusatory finger at someone, usually based on which sins are at the top of the list as being evil. As Baptists, for years, we have pounded on drinking, gambling, dancing, and various forms of secular entertainment. Most of these cannot be justified through Scripture as being a sin. So we choose to ignore addictions to eating, shopping, and gossip, among many others. The question that crosses my mind is, what possible value could the addicted gossip give the person who is addicted to alcohol? Just as the addicted alcoholic obviously has problems keeping his job and family, the addicted shopper has problems keeping a family and job, along with numerous overdrawn credit cards.

    Maybe teaching someone with a money problem Biblical financial principles would be in order. A role of duct tape would solve the gossip problem.
     
  6. Jkdbuck76

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    Never thought of all this.
     
  7. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    An addiction is not moderate in nature. It is either an addiction, or it isn't. It's like being "a little bit" pregnant. It isn't possible.

    That said, addictions have levels of severity, but they are always progressive. With drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, etc., what satisfies today probably won't six months from now, and that's how the addiction gets hold of someone and won't let go. How far will a person go to get satisfaction, release? The answer is different for every person, and determines how bad it will get before they seek help.

    Now, to follow that up, caffeine is not a serious addiction, although anything one craves for more than his Savior is not a good thing. I ask my clients: "If Jesus Himself came to you and simply said, 'Please stop,' would you?" The answer one gives won't tell me if they're an addict or not, but the moment of reaction, in their heart and mind, to the scenario -- which only they can know -- just might give them the answer.
     
    #7 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2014
  8. preachinjesus

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    There is a difference between dependency and addiction. Perhaps the OP is dealing more with dependency, mild dependency at that.

    Drug addiction, especially when referring to narcotics and other chemical substances, is mightily different than need your morning caffeine supplement. I doubt you're breaking into homes and fencing the stolen goods to supplement your coffee habit.

    Of course coffee isn't a schedule 1 or 2, or 3 or 4, narcotic either...unless you're hitting Starbucks 10 times a day.

    If you're concerned about your caffeine intake, I'd suggest seeing a nutritionist or talking to your doctor. There are certainly alternatives. One of my general habits is to take a month or two off from high levels of caffeine intake regularly. Since my productivity curve bends towards the late evening, caffeine is certainly a help but also a hindrance. I've been experimenting with different lighting levels and types. Recently I've purchased two blue light devices to aid a more natural development. Regular exercise also helps tremendously.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  9. kyredneck

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    One cup a day? ROFGUFFAWING!

    I average 1-3 cups every morning, helps to wake me up and gets my innards to 'moving'.

    Likewise, I don't plan on stopping.

    Top 13 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coffee

    "Coffee is actually very healthy.

    It is loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that can improve your health.

    The studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases.

    Here are the top 13 evidence-based health benefits of coffee, that have been confirmed in actual human studies."........
     
  10. InTheLight

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    I view coffee drinking the same as drinking alcohol. Both contain a drug so both must be drunk in moderation. I would submit that drinking only one cup of coffee per day is the very definition of moderation. I think you are OK.
     
  11. saturneptune

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    You need to join a C of C and repent. LOL
     
  12. Judith

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    Any addiction is sin, but just because we do something regularly does not mean it is an addiction and sin. Nor does something have to be a drug to be an addiction. An addiction is something that controls us to continue in its arena. We just cannot seem to make it without it. However to say "I don't plan on stopping anytime soon" is the greater sin and raises a lot of red flags if you think it might be an addiction..
     
  13. InTheLight

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    I think you need to refine your definition of addiction. For example, I eat food every day and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. Same thing with wearing clothing. Using electricity and running water.
     
  14. Dale-c

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    I don't think you understand the definition of addiction.
    Look it up. And addiction is something that causes a physical dependency.
    And yes, it can happen from 12 ounces of coffee each day.

    We have used the word figuratively to refer to anything done in excess but that is not what an addiction is.

    It is scientific fact that drinking coffee regularly causes one to become dependent on that caffiene. If you believe all addictions are sinful then you must say that drinking coffee regularly is sinful, even in moderation.

    Again, I am talking about literal addiction here, not figurative.
     
  15. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    As an addictions counselor, I have to say, the use of the word "addiction" on this thread is atrociously inaccurate and over-stated. If we're going to discuss this rationally, let's define addiction, the best being the one outlined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) three years ago:
    Now, we can either discuss it, or let the thread die a quiet natural death. Obviously, coffee, food, wearing clothes, etc., does not fit into this definition.
     
  16. Judith

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    You make the point of my post and yes if a person drinks coffee because they are hooked on the caffeine it would be an addiction and a sin, but an addiction does not have to be because of a drug. It is anything that has some kind of control over you functionally whether to get going or stay going. The problem with many addicts is that they live in denial to their addiction, but that does not change the fact that they are in sin. I would point out that not all addictions have the same level of consequences, but they are no less sin.
     
  17. InTheLight

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    So, my dear mother, aged 92, who loves a small bowl of ice cream every night, looks forward to it during the day, is addicted? And SINNING! Really?
     
  18. Dale-c

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    Judith, a characteristic of caffeine is that it is addictive and. Creates dependency. If I don't drink a small cup in the morning, I will get a headache in the afternoon. This is a characteristic of caffeine addiction.

    This is likely to happen to anyone who drinks coffee daily. So are you saying that drinking coffee daily is wrong? I'm just asking for clarification. Perhaps it is. I am just wanting some discussion on the matter.
     
  19. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Anything can be sin if it negatively impacts your life. What Judith fails to understand is that to qualify as an addiction, continuing use of a substance or chemical, or engagement in an activity, must first be beyond normal control and second be so negatively impactful on one's life as to cause severe health, emotional, moral, or social issues for the user/engager. No, your caffeine use is not really an addiction because 1) not drinking a cup in the morning indicates you can control it, and 2) the headache simply isn't that serious a health issue to be considered a major negative impact.

    On the other hand, the heavy, extended and uncontrolled use of alcohol or drugs legal or illegal, or engagement in gambling, pornography, over-eating, over-spending, over-shopping, over-creditizing (to coin a phrase for over-extending credit) ... those are major negative impacts and more often than not (to a huge extent, actually) require counseling or other intervention in order for the user/engager to regain control.
     
    #19 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jan 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2014
  20. Dale-c

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    Please read this:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine_addiction

    If you don't think it is possible to become addicted to caffeine from an amount of coffee that is normal to americans, you are wrong.


    Eating too many potato chips may be immoderate but it isn't truly an addiction.

    I think we as a society use the term loosely to refer to excess of any form.
     

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