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The druggie gags that surface around caffeine may belie more than their tellers realize. Sure people talk about “mainlining” espresso and about the intensity of their “addiction” but the fact is, according The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine author Stephen Braun, caffeine is a drug.

“I don't think the mass of folks really consider caffeine a drug. It’s so omni-present and, of course, so relatively mild and socially accepted, that I think, for the mass of people, it's almost invisible,” Braun said in an interview with Lifehacker last year. “Understanding caffeine as a drug can help make sense of things like rebound headaches, rebound fatigue, insomnia, or heightened anxiety—just some of the less pleasant things that can occur from caffeine consumption.”

The question looms –is Starbucks really in the pharmaceuticals business? Are baristas actually drug dealers? Time to pull another Americanon and ponder the fact that half the population of the U.S. drinks at least two cups of coffee a day. About of a quarter of those drink about five cups daily and another quarter drink ten or more cups a day, according to Healthy.net. We're apparently a nation of drug addicts. Coffee anyone?

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