Caffeine in our Community

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Helen K

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Chris Shields, Writer

 

In the fast paced, high stress environment of high school, many of us rely on caffeine to give us a little extra boost to keep us going through the day. Some rely on it more than others, but a very high percentage use it either as a coping mechanism or a crutch to keep them awake. There are many readily available forms of caffeine consumption available to high school kids, and Helena High students are no exception.

Caffeine may be seen by some as unnecessary and harmful, but in reality it’s very useful. Not only is it successful in providing energy to complete tasks and to power through the day, it also serves as motivation for allot of people. Caffeine in whatever form you prefer it in, can be something you can look forward to enjoying and has been proven to increase seratonin levels in the brain, raising happiness. While it may not be something everyone physically and mentally depends on, it is something that provides many benefits to consumers.

The school Catty Shack sells coffee in the morning and at lunch so kids can get a cup to start their day. The vending machines also supply a variety of different energy drinks kids can choose from. Just up the road from the school is Starbucks and the Town Pump gas station which has several coolers full of different caffeinated beverages. 

Senior Evan Wright is an avid coffee drinker and had some interesting thoughts on the role caffeine plays in not only his life, but the lives of others around him. “I think that caffeine is technically a drug, but it’s alright for everyone to accept this drug, because in the end, I think it only benefits us,” Wright said. Wright’s preferred method of caffeine consumption is “the coffee bean.” He has coffee every morning and wouldn’t trade it for the world. “For me personally, I wake up at five in the morning, and the only reason I have the will to even get up, is for that cup of coffee.” If he stopped consuming caffeine, “Physically, my body would likely give way. I’d probably be dead by now. Mentally, it would be like taking heroin away from Kurt Cobain, just to put things in perspective.” 

Fellow senior Clarissa Hyden said “Caffeine is a needed drug for everybody.” A self-proclaimed caffeine addict, Hyden consumes various forms of it on a regular basis. “I usually get my caffeine from coffee, or Rockstars or Monsters.” Hyden thinks that if she were to cease consuming this drug, she would be a much angrier person. “If you go through caffeine withdrawals, it gives you agitation, and I’ve tried but it makes me very angry,” she said. She doesn’t see herself ever stopping caffeine consumption and she’s perfectly okay with that.

This seemingly much needed drug is readily available to youth, and that may be a large contributing factor to the level of consumption. It’s everywhere. Most kids are brought up with it all around them, and the fact that there are no restrictions on purchasing it makes it that much easier to access. Whatever your views are on caffeine, many people rely on it for daily function and motivation. 

Caffeine, of all potential drug choices, is mostly unharmful and is a good alternative to other drugs. It has many uses whether you enjoy the flavor of an energy drink or need a quick pick-me-up. Caffeine is a good thing in our lives that many of us make use of in everyday life.

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