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The dangers of your daily fix

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What exactly do your work drugs of choice do for you and to you? Stylist examines the facts…

Picture credit: Rex Features

ASPARTAME

The artificial sweetener aspartame has been shown to raise blood sugar in mice prone to diabetes and studies show artificial sweeteners may actually cause weight gain because they stimulate carbohydrate cravings. Excessive sweetener intake may also lead to heart attacks and strokes.

ADDERALL

This prescription-only drug was developed to treat attention deficit disorder. It can cause a lift in mood, increase heart rate and even palpitations. Prolonged use can cause psychosis, mood disorders and can alter functioning of organs and brain.

CAFFEINE

Stimulating the nervous system, it can make you more alert and improve memory and information retention. Too much can lead to increased risk of heart attacks, irritability, excessive urination, insomnia, rapid and irregular heartbeat and, in pregnancy, can increase the risk of birth defects.

OVER-THE-COUNTER CODEINE

Codeine-containing painkillers have a mild narcotic effect – weaker, but similar to heroin and morphine. These fast acting, pain-numbing drugs can become addictive after just three days of use.

SUGAR

Over-consumption can result in depression, anxiety, irritability, headaches and a lack of sex drive. A study found those who drank 1 or 2 soft drinks a day were 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who never drank it.

RITALIN

The brand name for methylphenidate, which, if not prescribed, is a class-B drug in the UK. It gives a rush of adrenaline and keeps users awake for long periods. Possible side effects include appetite loss, nausea, headaches and blurred vision.

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