Crippling Caffeine Addictions

Crippling+Caffeine+Addictions

Sammy Irwin

“No food or drinks in the classroom,” reads the purple signs hanging every four feet along the walls of Baxter highschool. Although these rules seem to be heavily enforced around the school, it doesn’t stop students from getting their daily dose of caffeine throughout the day. On average, 85% of Americans consume at least one caffeinated beverage a day, and that percentage definitely proves true throughout the school. Most days, Madison Greimann, 10, is seen walking into school with some form of caffeinated beverage. “Around two times a week, I will start the day with caffeine. My go-to is a Bubblr or a Dr. Pepper.” As the school year started, students were able to spread the word of the recently trending energy drinks including Bubblr(s), G-Fuel, and Alani Nu(s). These specific drinks range in caffeine amounts from 50-200 milligrams of caffeine. 

Although caffeine provides the benefit of that “awake” feeling, it is indeed a drug, and it is possible to become addicted to it. Many people don’t perceive caffeine as a drug because small doses of it don’t seem to do any harm. But when too much caffeine is consumed in one time span, it can lead to serious issues that can result in hospital visits and other health issues. Many people in this school have become reliant on the substance over time, and find themselves consuming more and more. Every caffeine addiction starts out small, and increases as time goes on. Jayden Bakalar, 10, has experienced some serious concerns regarding his caffeine addiction. “When I was in the hospital, physically, I was in pain, and mentally, I couldn’t think because of the hospital medicine.” In the spring of 2020, Bakalar was hospitalized for heart effects partially from caffeine. “Before then, I drank around two energy drinks a day and still drink two energy drinks a day.”  

The healthy amount of caffeine to consume in a day is up to 400 milligrams. For reference that is about three and a half bottled Starbucks Frappuccinos, roughly four Monster energy drinks, or two shots of 5 Hour Energy, all of which can be purchased at a gas station. When asked the amount of caffeine she sells working at the gas station, Lilyan Headlee, 11, says, “I would say that half of people from the hours of 6 AM – 12 PM purchase a caffeinated drink.” This statistic is just an example of how caffeine is a large impact on students’ daily lives at Baxter. Although they seem to brush it off, students are aware of the issue. Headlee continues her statement saying, “I think it’s very excessive how much caffeine is consumed throughout the day even coming from someone who consumes a lot of caffeine herself. I think in our generation, caffeine has become more of an everyday thing than a ‘just a once in a while, use it to stay awake’ type thing.” 

As caffeine has become a trendy thing, consuming large amounts has been normalized in today’s world. To many people, it seems that caffeine is harmless. Because it has become such a normalized drug, many have become addicted to it without realizing it. Many have made it a part of their morning routine to run right to the coffee pot, which is okay, but the consequences can become serious when too much is consumed.