This story marks the beginning of a series of different addictions that highschoolers have in their life.
Methylxanthine. 85 percent of you drink it every day.
But what is it?
Caffeine: the most widely used, physically addictive drug.
Every piece of chocolate that’s inhaled through the mouth of kids.
Every can of Pepsi or Monster that’s opened up at a sporting event.
Every Nonfat Soy Caramel Frappucino with whip cream and an extra pump of chocolate that teachers buy at Starbucks and bring to school.
All have caffeine.
“I started drinking it when I became a teacher,” said teacher Holly Astheimer, a well-known coffee addict from Penn Manor, “One cup in the morning and one cup in the evening.”
According to Brynmawr University, nearly 80 percent of Americans rely on caffeine each morning in order to get them started.
In fact, more than 450,000,000 cups of coffee alone are consumed every day in the United States.
About half of them seem to be at Penn Manor.
“I started drinking [coffee] in middle school. I drink one cup every morning. If I don’t, I get a headache because I’m so used to it,” said senior Kaity Deisley.
“I’m not as alert and I’m off my game all day [if I don’t drink coffee],” said Astheimer.
Caffeine is also popular with high school and college students who are forced to pull all-nighters to study or prepare for tests.
“I drink coffee every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” said senior Shannon Nitroy, “I have [gone a day without before] because I try not to get dependent on it.”
And sometimes, drinking it for other reasons.
“I like drinking it because it tastes good, and then I feel good,” said Nitroy.
So how hard is it to break a caffeine addiction?
After asking both Astheimer and Deisley to go a day without coffee, the results were bleak.
“I couldn’t do it. I failed at my task. I figured I was setting myself and my students up for a bad day,” said Astheimer, while holding her coffee mug.
This isn’t shocking, as Astheimer begged to not participate in the test when approached.
Deisley wasn’t much more successful.
“I’m sorry, it’s a habit. I wake up and think ‘I need coffee’. I need caffeine!” said Deisley.
The results show that the addiction to caffeine is stronger than some think.
So go ahead, stop reading and make your coffee.
By Lindsey Ostrum and Mike Nitroy
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