The rise of caffeine addiction


Mara Jendro

Sloane Wilhelm, ’19, Macy Thompson, ’19, have their usual coffee at Friedrich’s Coffee in Urbandale. This is their go-to coffee shop because of the free wifi and cozy environment.

Mara Jendro, Staff Writer

Coffee Addiction

There is a growing plague amongst high schoolers. With early mornings, long days, and consecutive late nights, high school students have turned to alternative ways to stay awake. Coffee is the perfect surrogate for sleep.

Kendell Hostetler, ’18, has been a coffee drinker for as long as she can remember. “Both my parents and grandparents are both avid coffee drinkers, so I’ve always grown up in a coffee household.” Her “passion” for coffee really took off during the swim season of her freshman year. She would have early morning practice, then a long day of school, fueling the drive of caffeine.

Hostetler’s preferred drink is an at homebrew of black coffee with just a little bit of cream. Every so often she strays from her usual at homebrew. “[I go to] Friedrichs or there’s a couple downtown I like to go to Smokey Row, Horizon Line, places like that,” Hostetler said. “If I can find little coffee shops to go and sit down in that’s where I usually go.”

Coffee isn’t just a way to stay awake throughout the day, it’s also a reward for staying awake through a busy day. “It’s something to look forward to, every day I look forward to going and getting coffee after school,” Macy Thompson, ’19 said. “Even if, even though I want to I can’t afford coffee every day, so I make ice coffee at my house and even if it’s just that it’s like my favorite part of the day.” 

Still, coffee houses can be a cozy oasis and a great place to go and study. “Freidrichs is definitely number one. I go to Twisted Bean a fair amount, but I don’t like the atmosphere quite as much.” Sloane Wilhem, ’19, said.

Addiction Affordability

In addition to the physiological cost of being addicted to caffeine, caffeine addiction can provide an economic toll as well. “In an average week I usually do three to four cups a day, so, I would say, and then Sundays four or five, so probably over $20 dollars.” Hostetler, said. 

“I get them {Drinks} about on average, six times a week. Which is about thirty bucks a week.” Wilhelm said. “I have three to four a day… On the weekends, it gets a little crazy, I just sit and drink coffee all day, so it’s probably like five cups a day.”

Most high schoolers have a very limited budget, for avid coffee drinkers, budgets run even lower. “I spend about $4.50, roughly four times a week,” Thompson said. “Because I used to get an Aztec mocha at Friedrich’s and a raspberry mocha at Twisted Bean, but I cut back to iced mochas because they’re cheaper.”


Coffee has many pros of energy and a great beverage, however, there are downsides, too. Addiction Resource states that along with drinking coffee comes, anxiety, increased vasoconstriction, high blood pressure, reduced control of fine motor movement, and stimulation of urination. “I think people should know about the withdrawal, it’s basically just like drugs,” Wilhelm said. “So every once in awhile I feel the need to go on a coffee cleanse and I make it for like two days. You get like really bad headaches and you feel terrible.” On average,, it takes over 12 hours to get the caffeine out of your system. If you have become caffeine-dependent, you usually feel the effects for much longer.

According to an article written by Addiction Resource says that 70 million Americans drink three cups of coffee a day. America, being the largest coffee consumers, is filled with caffeine addicted adults and high schoolers. Even with soda and other caffeinated beverages, 70% of caffeine is consumed through coffee.