Diary of a Medical Student: Substance Abuse-Caffeine

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“Ok…. Chinazor, that’s enough” my inner voice said but I ignored it and added 2 more spoonful’s of coffee. It was my second cup that night. That wasn’t my first time of drinking coffee to stay awake, for me it was becoming a habit, however, that night I was feeling very desperate so, I took more than I would have taken on a normal day. I paused momentarily and thought of pouring the contents of my cup down my kitchen sink but then, I remembered all the things I had to read up. I resumed 3 months late that semester and our exams were fast approaching. So, the desperation and pressure I was feeling gave me the courage to drink my second cup of coffee that night.

I stayed awake reading throughout that night, then around 5am. I wanted to go to bed because I had a class by 10.am that morning. I lay on my bed for close to 2 hours but sleep wouldn’t come till I gave up on sleeping that morning. As I stood up from my bed, my whole room was spinning, I made it to the bathroom where I managed to shower after vomiting. I couldn’t eat that morning because I was feeling nauseated. As I was about leaving, I remembered that I would definitely sleep during the class so, I took another cup of coffee before leaving for school.

I barely listened to anything the lecturer said that morning because I was feeling very disorientated and confused in addition to the severe headache I was having. I was so relieved when the class ended and I managed to walk back to my hostel, by now I was literally shaking. When I got back to the hostel my ordeal with diarrhea started and I purged throughout the evening. I couldn’t read anything for the rest of the day and I ended up in the clinic that day.I would never forget this experience. People abuse substances for different reasons and this could lead to an overdose intake of the substance. People may abuse caffeine or other substances for many reasons:1. To fight Sleep: This is mostly common among students. We forget that our brain cells needs rest but we force our bodies through sleepless nights.2. To improve performance during training and exercise, workout, sports and competition, people abuse many forms of steroids to achieve enhanced performance.3. Weight loss: This is common among ladies who feel insecure about their weight and they resort to overdose of many weight loss drugs to burn the excess fat. Unfortunately most of those drugs contains very high doses of caffeine.Till today, I remain a lover of coffee however, I have learnt to take it in moderate quantity. Overdose of caffeine can cause many adverse effects like: dizziness, increased thirst, diarrhea, insomnia, headache, irritability, uncontrolled muscle movement, confusion and many more. Caffeine is a naturally occurring compound found inthe leaves and fruits of certain plants. Caffeine isfound in coffee, Green tea, cocoa, cola soft drinks and energy drinks. It may also be found in darkchocolate bars, energy bars and some over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrup and slimming tablets.Kola nut

Kola nut
Panadol extra contains caffeine, Kola nuts and Guarana also contains caffeine. Guarana is a native Brazilian plant that is a natural source of Caffeine used as flavor in several dinks and beverages found in western world.Guarana plant and seeds
Guarana Plant with seeds
Guarana Can drink
Guarana drink
Some weight loss pills like Zantrex contains so much caffeine that 1,223 milligrams of Zantrex is like having 12 cups of coffee according to a 2005 analysis conducted by consumerlab.comSo, before you consume some food or drugs, take some time to check the label for its caffeine content.If you discover you have consumed a large amount of caffeine, you should seek medical attention immediately. Other home remedies for overdose of caffeine include: drinking water, mild exercise, eating foods high in potassium or magnesium e.g. banana.As we all know, prevention is better than cure, so my advice to everyone today is to avoid overdose of any substance including caffeine and all things should be taken in moderate quantities.
Source: healthng.com
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