Caffeine Addiction

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Caffeine Addiction

Jack Endicott, Staff Writer

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Students at Granite City High School wake up bright and early to get to class every morning. Some pull all nighters, stay up late with homework, and some just sleep normally. However, some rely on supplements such as caffeine to provide the required energy to get through the day. Many students consume caffeine, and it becomes a habit. They become dependent. They become addicted.

According to this study, almost 75% of minors consume caffeine every day. While in many ways that caffeine is useful and provides daily energy, it has side effects as well. Caffeine can cause insomnia, stomach irritation, increased heart rate, and headaches. Caffeine in small doses can improve mood, energy, and alertness. However, constant daily use can build a tolerance to it and make the body require more to achieve the same effect. The dependency and withdrawal can change the course of your day, or even your whole week. Billy Armbruster, a senior here at GCHS, said “I’ve gotten awful headaches that last a couple days without caffeine. It’s like it’s beating me up because I haven’t had it.”

In addition to these withdrawals, some students don’t like the idea of being dependent on caffeine. “I feel like it’s not great for me. I really don’t like the idea of being addicted to anything,” said Emma Vinson, another student and an announcer at GCHS. “It’s a problem when it becomes a hindrance to daily life.”

I also know the cost of becoming addicted to caffeine. It often left me very tired, and I’d be falling asleep in class if I hadn’t had it that morning. Soda, tea, and coffee are drinks I’ve been involved with since I was very young. I only recently decided to break my addiction and endured a migraine that lasted a week. Now that it’s out of my system, I find it easier to wake up and come to school. It’s easier to stay awake in class without caffeine cutting off my energy when I need it most.

There is a marked fluctuation of energy whenever caffeine leaves the system. One second you’ll be up and alert, then you’ll find yourself nodding off. It throws off the body’s natural rhythms. In many cases, students addicted to caffeine will fall asleep in their classes after the crash. Until they have more access to caffeine, they remain tired and unalert. This can affect how you learn and hinder your progress in school, or anything you do. High school is already a challenge. Why make it harder?