Why coffee, despite it’s clear interactions with the brain as a drug, isn’t as bad for your health or as physically dependent as most other drugs like cocaine or opioids?

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Why coffee, despite it’s clear interactions with the brain as a drug, isn’t as bad for your health or as physically dependent as most other drugs like cocaine or opioids?

In: 15

It is.
Have you ever gone cold Turkey? Its hell.
It’s just a socially acceptable drug so we havent been trained to hate it’s very existence

It has to do with the mechanism by which coffee affects the brain. Caffeine basically blocks certain receptors in the brain. When these receptors are blocked naturally (not by caffeine), the effect is to slow down the actions of the cell, so you lose energy or get tired. When caffeine blocks it, though, it doesn’t have the effect of slowing down the actions of the cell, so you don’t get tired. So there is a limit to how not-tired coffee can make you, and that limit is based on a natural physiological limit. It’s not adding something that is giving you energy, it’s just blocking something that is sapping your energy. So it can never get too bad or too extreme. When you stop caffeine, you’ll get more tired but your body is working within its natural limits and can adjust sufficiently. In contrast, when you’re using certain hard drugs, it’s feeding you something new that is supercharging your body by providing far greater amounts of a substance than you would ever otherwise have. Your body can’t adjust or compensate easily and greater problems ensue.

Caffeine’s effect on the brain is not as intense as cocaine. Yes, caffeine has an effect, as all drugs do, but cocaine often produces intense euphoria and, thus, its withdrawal symptoms are more intense than headaches and an inability to concentrate. Because cocaine produces a more intense high than caffeine, it also puts more of a strain on the heart.

Also, while it’s technically possible to overdose on caffeine, it’s not easy. Opioids and cocaine, on the other hand…. Well, overdosing on those are dead common, by comparison.

Do note, however, the difference is not purely one of legal vs illegal. Alcohol is generally legal and its effects on the body can be as bad or even worse than cocaine or heroin. That is why you hear of people destroying their lives, careers, and families with their drinking or dying at 40 from cirrhosis.

“The dose makes the poison,” goes the Paracelsus Maxim. This goes for non-drug compounds as vital as water & oxygen, which will engager life when too concentrated in an organism. Not all drugs are bad for the body (dose dependant, largely) or even addictive, but all create metabolic consequences. Caffeine, while addictive, seems to be ‘neuroprotective’ for cognitive health as we age. GHB & DMT are two ‘drugs’ used for intoxication which your body creates itself. While GHB has a very narrow dose:risk ratio, DMT seems very safe in very large doses. That said, too much caffeine can result in fatal overdose… My love of coffee pursues this irreversible limit each day.