Written by a heavy coffee addicted person.

(Previously in Swedish on this webbsite 2014)

Two hundred years ago, it was no big thing to be drunk at work. It was even sanctioned by the employer and sometimes the workers received part of their salary in spirits, sometimes during working hours. At that time, spirits were not considered as alcoholic beverage, but more as belonging to the daily diet.   Two hundred years later, anyone who drinks or is drunk at work is being fired or at the best sent to a treatment center. Alcohol at work is as bad as alcohol and driving.

But even today Swedish workers often get a part of their salary in drugs, coffee. Now surely, friend of order opposing that it is not possible to compare spirits with coffee. And this is in many ways correct.  But even coffee is a drug, strong enough to give a bracing effect and abstinence when you don’t get your daily dose.

I wonder what people in the future will say about our coffee drinking. Perhaps people then will be as horrified by this as we are about the use of alcohol in earlier days. What will they think about that employer buy expensive equipment for cooking the drug and encourage abuse during working hours by sanctioning special “coffee breaks”? How will they judge our systematically use coffee to stay awake when driving or that we allow our minors to visit coffee-houses, and there also drink coffee? What will they think about that most of all citizens live every day in a coffee rush and become desperate if they do not receive their morning dose, even the young?

The difference between coffee and alcohol is great, especially in terms of harmfulness, but there are also clear similarities. Both are drugs and addictive. In the 19th century, spirits were more to be considered as food than intoxicants, the same goes for coffee today. Coffee may be too integral in the society today so we miss the similarity to other, illegal, drugs. Chewing KAT, for example, is described as having a similar effect to coffee, but is prohibited.

In about 100 years from now we might have reassessed coffee in the same way we reevaluated spirits, or we might have reassessed the danger of other drugs. Those who live will see.

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