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Rehab for soda pop addiction?

January 10, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
I'm staring at three bottles of diet soda sitting in a row at my desk. This is my fuel for the day and it's not all I will be drinking today, either. I think I have single handedly filled the plastic recycling bin at the office this week with my discarded soda bottles.

Caffeine is really my only vice but it's one that has a pretty good grip on me. My doctor would probably prefer that I not be a caffeine addict, but I've never had much luck kicking the long term addiction. I'm apparently not alone.

Darren Jones, a 38-year-old man in the United Kingdom, apparently wants to check himself into rehab to beat his addiction to Diet Coke, according to an article last week in a British paper. Jones spends close to $200 a week on soda and drinks 42 liters of pop a week. Jones' wife wants him to spend his money on something else and his marriage is suffering. Sadly for Jones, there is no such thing as a rehabilitation program for soda pop addiction or other types of caffeine addiction.

I doubt if I've reached the heights of Jones' addiction but I'm probably not far away from it.

By rights I should be a jittery mess, but caffeine doesn't have the effect on me that it's supposed to have on people. It doesn't keep me awake at night, doesn't make me nervous, doesn't make my pulse race or give me heart palpitations. Even when I started drinking a lot of it, before the addiction had a chance to take hold, I didn't notice any ill effects.

Maybe I'm self medicating and without it my life would be more chaotic. Someone I interviewed once told me that a lot of kids and adults with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drink lots of caffeinated soda or coffee, which apparently calms them down and makes it easier for them to think.

No one has ever officially diagnosed me with ADHD but I think there's a good chance I might have some version of it, maybe the kind of ADHD that makes you daydream through boring classes or meetings, which I frequently did, or lose homework, something else I often did.

On the other hand, maybe I just like pop. Either way, you wouldn't want to be around me on a day I had to do without it.


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