British Woman Addicted to Diet Coke Drank 50 Cans a Day
Jakki Ballan has seen a number of doctors about her alleged Coke addiction, but has yet to find one that will take her claim seriously.
Jakki Ballan, 42, has a drinking problem: she can't go a day without drinking at least 10 liters (or 2.6 gallons) of Diet Coke. At her lowest point, she drank 50 cans a day - that's more than three cans an hour - and would drink twice her body weight in a week. Though she has cut back considerably since then, Ballan still suffers withdrawals if she doesn't get her daily fix.
"This addiction is taking over my life. I can't even go out of the house without making sure I've got enough Coke on me," Ballan said. "I am scared for my health. I want to be around to see my kids grow up. I dread to think what my insides look like."
Ballan had her first Diet Coke at age 14 and has maintained the habit for nearly 30 years. And her habit is not cheap either, costing her about £6,000 (or $10,000 USD) a year. The stay-at-home mom claims to suffer from hallucinations from drinking so much of the aspartame-laden diet soda. "I see strange things like oranges flying across the room. Then I have to sit down and calm myself before carrying on," she said. "I am constantly tired, but all the caffeine I consume means I have trouble sleeping. So I end up sitting awake at night and drinking even more Coke. It's a vicious cycle I can't seem to get out of."
Ballan is currently seeking help for her Coke habit, but doctors won't take her claims seriously. "The GP (general practitioner) told me that it was a soft drink and just to stop. But if I could stop, I would have already," she said. "Alcoholics get help, people addicted to cigarettes get patches and drug addicts get weaned off slowly. This is a real addiction but no one will help me." Ballan will try hypnotherapy to free her from Diet Coke and turn her life around.