The high cost of caffeine addiction among teens


Caity Burke

Students of PV chat in class, oblivious of the increase in beverages brought to school, and the expenses of them.

Caity Burke, Social Media Manager

There is nothing more refreshing than a nice beverage to enjoy throughout a productive day. Grabbing an energy drink, a coffee or even a smoothie is essential to most’s daily lives, especially teens. Society has come to normalize the sufficient funds teenagers spend on all types of beverages, and the industry is taking advantage of that. 

The Quad Cities, especially, thrives in the expansion of options within beverages. There’s Starbucks and Coffee Hound for Coffee, Atomic and QC Fuel for energy drinks and, now, Smoothie King. However, this isn’t all. There are several locations for the businesses already listed, along with small businesses opening their own shops. It has come to attention that a majority of customers are teens. 

One third of teenagers regularly purchase and consume energy drinks. At Atomic, perhaps the most popular beverage place in the QC, one drink is four dollars. It doesn’t seem much, but the expenses add up as weeks go by. 

Grabbing a drink before practice or school seems mindless, and the decrease in the bank account goes unnoticed. But senior Quinn Russell recently found herself curious in how much she’s really spent on drinks, “Before work or school, it’s become a habit to pick up a drink to keep me motivated for the day. I mainly stop at Coffee Hound and Atomic. I decided to go through my bank account and add up the total of how much I’ve spent on drinks, being genuinely curious.”

The total Russel found from just her junior year is shocking, “I spent a total of $814 on drinks. I never realized exactly how much I was spending on drinks, and I wish I would’ve noticed it sooner. I could have put that money towards college or a new car, but in fact, I don’t regret it,” Russel said. 

Senior Karlee Sutherland shared her opinion on the simple pleasure of grabbing a drink each morning, “I know I don’t need it, but something about getting myself a beverage feels special, it’s a nice way to treat myself. Everytime I get a drink, I know it will be a good day,” Sutherland expressed. “I’m sure I could make myself a coffee or anything else at home, saving my money, but it doesn’t feel the same. The experience of going in the drive through each morning gets me excited for the day. I’m willing to spend my money if it ensures a good mood.” 

Coffee shops and energy bars don’t have a target audience, making it interesting that teens have picked up on this as a trend to constantly have a drink in hand. Teenagers are known to make reckless decisions, especially when it comes to how a paycheck is used. Perhaps they should take more insight on where their money is being spent, and if it’s really worth it.