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Caffeine Dependency

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Meghan Fogle

Mr. Morris

February 12, 2019

Narrative Final Draft

        

Since beginning my Freshman year of college, my love for coffee on a slow, cold morning has turned into a critical step in my everyday routine.  I recall all the mornings of my first semester, there I was- 9AM, dreading even the thought of leaving my cozy, soft, warm bed.  I laid there with my eyes still closed, not wanting to let the morning sun get its grip on my tired eyes, as the alarm on my phone wails and vibrates underneath my pillow.   Then, I remember, the only thing that can make me even consider sitting up, my Keurig.  Something some would say is not very necessary for dorm living, I consider my most cherished necessity.  When I knew all I needed to do was stand and take 4 steps to get to the machine, I was suddenly not as scared to open my eyes and begin my long day.  I get up, walk the 4 steps over to the coffee maker and in minutes, I’m transformed from a zombie to a preppy sorority girl, ready to take on the world.  This has become a crucial component in my morning routine for quite some time and it’s worked for me, and a majority of the population, for years now.  I believe that everyone who wakes up relatively early relies on coffee, or any other caffeinated beverage, to accomplish their daily tasks- making caffeine dependence a problem among many in the United States.

I remember watching my parents drink 3-4 cups of coffee every morning while I was getting ready for elementary and middle school.  They would wake up, make a cup, and once it was gone they’d immediately pour another- every single day.  It never occured to me that in coffee was something more than I could’ve ever guessed.  It wasn’t just a hot, delicious drink that all adults would drink in the morning- it was a day starter.  Before I even started high school, I was then able to understand why every adult carried around a coffee cup before 11AM.  Coffee contains this “drug” called caffeine, a drug that is most commonly used to improve mental alertness.  Everything made more sense when I found out coffee is very high in caffeine (95mg), giving its consumers a quick way to enhance their attentiveness and bring down their tiredness before going to work/school.

Now knowing this information, I was quick to jump on the coffee wagon when I got to high school.  I quickly fell in love with the taste and effects coffee had, and how much effortless it had made each day.  It made classes easier to stay awake in and I felt more excited to get out of bed each morning knowing I had it.  Things changed when I realized coffee isn't the only thing that contains caffeine.  Many other drinks, including most sodas, contain it as well.  Energy drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, and Rockstar are another way that many people get their daily caffeine.  Compared to a cup of coffee, some energy drinks have almost double the amount of caffeine- Rockstar being the highest at 160 mg per can.  Because caffeine is so common in today’s world, no one really knows the negative side effects to using it.  The most common side effects of too much caffeine include, anxiety, digestive issues, high blood pressure, muscle tremor and one we often forget- addiction.  According to a study done by Villanova University, they found that “About 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine in one form or another every single day. More than half of all American adults consume more than 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine every day, making it by far America's most popular drug (Villanova University).  This is considered a dependency, which is what I would consider coffee to myself, something I’m dependent on.  And studies have shown if you consume 100 mg of caffeine a day (a cup of coffee), you could acquire a physical dependence that could give a person withdrawal symptoms.

Knowing these negative effects that caffeine can have on someone, I still drink it every day.  For me, the benefits outweigh the negative side effects.  I have never experienced anxiety or even withdrawal symptoms when I go a day without it which keeps me drinking it when I please.  With there being plenty of other deadly things to be dependent on, I don’t see caffeine as being even close to the worst.  It is something that helps people, which is why it’s one of the only drugs that is legal for everyone of any age.  Even though caffeine can give me digestive issues or muscle tremors in the long run, I will continue to consume it when I need a little pep in my step.

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