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Coffee Addiction Is No Joke

Dave Grohl was once hospitalized for his caffeine habit. That's not uncommon, experts and addicts tell The Fix.

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The Foo Fighter got too buzzed.
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By Valerie Tejeda

10/31/12

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Coffee is one of the world's most common addictions. While it may seem innocent, the beverage contains caffeine (a drug), and for some people a daily java habit can spiral out of control. Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has admitted that a 2010 spoof video he made about his caffeine habit was based on a real incident that had him hospitalized. “We were in the studio making a record and I was drinking a lot of coffee," the singer recalled, "and I started having chest pains, so I went to the hospital and they told me to stop drinking so much coffee.” Cindy Grassin, an addiction specialist who works at a drug and alcohol rehab in California, tells The Fix that many people are unaware of the dependence you can develop on the seemingly benign beverage. “People don’t realize how addictive coffee can actually be,” she says. “Especially for those that have an addictive personally, monitoring coffee intake is important.” Grassin advises people to treat java just as they would any other substance. “Coffee is a drug. Period,” she says. “Because of this, you need to treat it that way by consuming it in moderation, and getting help if you, or those around you, feel you may be addicted.”

Because drinking coffee is an integral part of so many people's daily lives, its dangers may often go unnoticed. “No one ever thought I had a problem because coffee is such an acceptable addiction in our society,” Daniel from Northern California tells us. “At one point, I believe I was drinking a cup of coffee an hour. And it wasn’t just black coffee—I would change it up with Frappucinos, lattes, and lots of coffee ice cream.” Ultimately, Daniel's addiction landed him in the hospital, where he came to realize the severity of his problem. “I was having severe chest pains, and doctors said my adrenal glands were shot. I’m glad I got help when I did because according to them, I was on my way to a heart attack. I was also having panic attacks all the time, and my heart rate was through the roof,” he says. “Since leaving treatment, I stick to only water. But I still love the smell of coffee.”

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