Coffee Craze Attracts Adolescents


Elizabeth Rigolo

Photo credit: Jessica Small

Meagan Leon, Student Life Editor

Recently, coffee companies are targeting young adults. While the coffee craze perseveres on, many wonder whether or not such high caffeine intake in adolescence could have negative side effects.

Economics play into the growing caffeine addiction. Companies like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are now marketing towards young adults and teens. Ads for Frapuccinos and iced coffees are drawing younger people in, by displaying younger people drinking these coffees.

Though companies most likely see this new marketing technique as just a way to make money, since teenagers are less frugal, they do not see the adverse effects caffeine causes for them.

Teens only see the benefits of caffeine. Between busy school schedules, sports, and extra curricular activities, teens need as much energy as possible. Caffeine, whether found in coffee or in energy drinks, could give the user an energy burst lasting up to six hours. Caffeine is extracted from plants and acts as a central nervous system stimulant.

Studies show that teenagers are supposed to get an average of nine hours of sleep a night, but large intakes of caffeine deter students’ sleeping patterns. According to MedlinePlus, consistent caffeine intake not only affects the amount of sleep teens get, but will also effect how good the sleep is.

Caffeine is also known to make users more anxiety ridden. Among these side effects are tremors and nervousness.

As with any other addictive substance, withdrawal of the substance can also produce these adverse side effects. The more any person intakes caffeine, the more tolerance they build, and therefore the more of the substance it takes to produce these negative effects. However, as more and more teens are turning to coffee and energy drinks, addiction is also becoming a problem.

“I can’t go a few days without coffee, I start to get headaches and I get tired,” Meredith Jones, senior, said.

Jones is just one of the WHS students addicted to the caffeine in coffee. At 7:30 in the morning, a good percentage of students are seen carrying mugs of coffee into school. The coffee craze is hitting Wellington, and it doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon.