Addicted to Vitamins?

There’s food for emergencies, and then there’s Emergen-C, the yucky-tasting, artificially flavored vitamin powder that probably wouldn’t do much to get you through a hurricane (though it may well be a staple food for two out of four fashionistas). Sarah J. Gim over at Slashfood admits that she has an addiction to the stuff, though she can’t figure out why:

The thing is, it’s not like I go through true withdrawal symptoms like getting jittery or twitching if I don’t have my usual fix of Emergen-C three times a day. It’s just that, well, for some reason, I can’t stop drinking it. Most people drink it when they are sick, or when they can feel illnes [sic] coming on. I drink it everyday [sic]. In fact, I don’t even ‘drink’ the powder dissolved in the prescribed 8 oz of water. I add a tiny amount of water, stir it up, and shoot it. I am addicted to it, and I have to take it like a shot because it actually does taste pretty horrible. Then again, for a lot of people, this is considered ‘medicine.’

I can sort of see where she’s coming from, having been hopelessly hooked on chewable Flintstones vitamins and their slightly more delicious French counterparts at various points in my life (and apparently I’m not alone on the Flintstones front). So is true physical addiction to vitamins possible? It’s possible (though unproven), but vitamins do reportedly play a role in other kinds of addiction.

On the flip side, what about people who say they’re not physically addicted to an addictive substance even though it reeeeeally sounds like they are, as is the case with commenter Kathryn’s relationship to coffee? “I used to think it was the caffeine, but I think I may have raised my tolerance levels to the point where it’s just not doing it for me anymore,” she says. Do you buy it? Having kicked a nasty coffee habit myself a couple of years ago, I realize just how much my appreciation for coffee’s flavor was bound up with its addictive properties.

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