‘Talk Therapy’ Could Help With Caffeine Addiction

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‘Talk Therapy’ Could Help With Caffeine Addiction

By Brent McCluskey 01/05/16

Caffeine dependence can cause anxiety, tension, stress and sleeping problems. 

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Caffeine Addict
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Those addicted to coffee could significantly benefit from “talk therapy,” a new study finds. Coffee is woven into the very fabric of American society, and while the mild stimulant is generally harmless, some find themselves helplessly drinking cup after cup. But those suffering from caffeine-use disorder may be able to cut back their intake with just a single session of “reduction-strategy” therapy.

Study author Laura Juliano, a professor of psychology at American University in Washington, D.C., explains that caffeine-use disorder can be counteracted by helping patients understand their condition and the irrational thoughts causing their behavior. 

“What we’re talking about here are people who have not only a physical dependence on caffeine, but also negative physical and psychological repercussions if they try to cut back or quit, and therefore an inability to do so,” said Juliano. “And we found that therapy helped people with this disorder make significant reductions in consumption.”

Ohio State University Psychiatry Professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser agrees that talk therapy can benefit those diagnosed with caffeine-use disorder, but notes that patients must first recognize they have an addiction.

“… If someone with an addictive disorder is ordered into treatment or doesn’t really consider themselves to have a problem in the first place, this kind of treatment is generally not that successful or far less successful,” said Kiecolt-Glaser.

Of the 67 study participants, more than 75% benefited from talk therapy and were able to reduce their caffeine intake from more than 700 mg per day to under 200 mg per day.

“It’s impressive,” said Kiecolt-Glaser. “I’m not aware of other treatments for caffeine addiction. But this appears to be an excellent way to go about it. It makes a lot of sense.”

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