Coffee and Sobriety
Although there are many differences among people in recovery, about 90 percent have one thing in common—coffee and sobriety. One research project found that almost all one million Americans who join Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) drink coffee. About one-third of these coffee drinkers reported drinking more than four cups daily, and the usual reasons were that it made them feel and concentrate better. Most experts agree that there are advantages and disadvantages to drinking coffee during recovery.
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The Pros of Drinking Coffee And Effects on Sobriety
World-class athletes and addicts in recovery drink coffee for the benefits it provides. While coffee will remain controversial for many years, coffee drinkers like to point out the scientifically supported benefits of their preferred beverage. The benefits of drinking coffee during recovery include:
- Antioxidants. Coffee contains antioxidants and other substances that may reduce inflammation throughout your body. Drug and alcohol abuse increases systemic inflammation that may be helped by anti-inflammatory substances such as antioxidants found in coffee.
- Heart health. Substance abuse has been shown to increase the risk of heart failure. Fortunately for the many coffee drinkers in recovery, studies show a benefit in drinking coffee to avoid heart disease.
- Longevity. Large epidemiological studies show that while coffee drinkers might have trouble getting enough sleep, they live longer. There is a reduced risk for all causes of mortality, including some cancers.
- Mood enhancement. Those in recovery report drinking coffee primarily because it makes them feel better. Coffee helps improve mental focus and combat common fatigue and mood swings when starting recovery.
- Preferred replacement. While the health benefits are a plus for those in recovery, mood enhancement surely accounts for coffee being served at AA meetings. While everyone does not agree that coffee is beneficial, there is little argument that its side effects pale compared to those of drug and alcohol abuse.
The Cons of Drinking Coffee And Effects on Sobriety
Some rehab experts warn against drinking coffee during recovery, especially those extremely sensitive to caffeine. While many people can easily tolerate coffee’s side effects, hypersensitive individuals may notice their recovery is hindered. The adverse side effects of drinking coffee include:
- Heightened anxiety. Entering recovery can be a stressful time for most people. Alcohol withdrawal has been associated with panic and generalized anxiety disorders that can be accentuated in a new recovery setting.
- Sleep loss. Insomnia and chronic sleep loss are associated with several mental health problems. The challenge of sleeping well during recovery can be made worse by drinking coffee.
- Habit forming. Opponents of coffee drinking during recovery point to the addictive qualities of caffeine. It is debatable whether this is a true addiction, but some see a dependence on coffee as a hindrance to recovery.
Sanctuary Recovery Foundation
Located in coastal South Carolina, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation implements a powerful twelve-step program to help residents recover a productive and happy life. Contact us for more information about how we can help you or a loved one create a successful life with positive relationships.