Caffeine Critical Evaluation

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A Critical Analysis and Evaluation of Caffeine Use Disorder
Caffeine is one of the most consumed substances in the world and it was estimated that 90% of the United States population consume caffeine regularly (Frary, Johnson, & Wang, 2005) and on average the typical caffeine user consumes approximately 200mg per day (Meredith, Juliano, Hughes & Griffiths, 2013). Caffeine has been documented to have the potential to cause a variety of negative consequences and shares many of the diagnostic criteria seen in substance use disorder (SUD). The major diagnostic criteria for caffeine use disorder (CUD) includes; persistent and unsuccessful desire to cut down on caffeine use (Jones & Lejuez, 2005; Juliano, Evatt, Richards & Griffiths,
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CUD is seemingly widespread with prevalence estimates ranging from 24-30% which is a substantially high rate when considering how ubiquitous general caffeine use is (Hughes, Oliveto, Liguorio, Carpenter & Howard, 1998). It is evident that caffeine use and CUD are far-reaching and is an issue that has been recommended for further research by the DSM. The aim of this essay was to critically analyse and evaluate key diagnostic criteria and to provide a recommendation as to whether CUD is a valid psychological disorder and whether it should be included in the next edition of the DSM.
Persistent or unsuccessful desire to cut down on use The first diagnostic criterion for CUD is a persistent or unsuccessful desire to cut down on caffeine use and has been reported to have a large degree of variation across the literature with estimates ranging from 10-80% (Meredith et al., 2013). This is arguably one of the more important diagnostic criteria of CUD as it must be present for clinical diagnosis however, the literature raises questions as to whether it represents a psychological disorder. Juliano et al.
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The literature indicates that there is a distinct prevalence disparity on this criteria between normal populations, participants with CUD and participants with psychiatric disorders (Striley et al. 2011; Ciapparelli et al. 2010). It was also suggested that caffeine use despite harm is associated with negative biological, psychological, physiological and academic outcomes (James, Kirstjánsson, & Sigfúsdóttir, 2011). Negative biological consequences for use despite harm include hypertension and enuresis, whereas psychological consequences included anxiety and insomnia (Striley et al. 2011). This suggests that this diagnostic criterion is not strictly biological or psychological but a multifaceted combination of factors. However, the researcher’s conclusions should be interpreted with caution as there was an overrepresentation of participants who used licit and illicit substances which was not controlled in the study. There was also no indication the amount of variability biological and psychological factors produced and there was also the potential that negative consequences could have been due to other substances, not caffeine. Ciapparelli et al (2010) also revealed that participants 24.1% of participants with psychiatric disorders were reported to use caffeine

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