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Daily dependencies


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   Typically, when people refer of the term “addiction,” they usually think of it in terms of alcohol or drug abuse; however, addictions aren’t always this obvious. They apply to a variety of substances and habits, such as caffeine and video gaming.

  The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.”

 Coffee lovers often find themselves dependent on a boost for the day. Many students can’t last a school day without first stopping by Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts in the morning for their favorite caffeinated treat.

  Junior Isabella Brady drinks coffee on a daily basis: a habit that started in middle school. Brady buys premade Starbucks drinks before the week starts so she can have them readily available during the week.

“I have been drinking coffee since I was young, but I started drinking coffee regularly in 8th grade,” Brady said. “I drink coffee about six days a week, and I will either stop for coffee in the morning, or I get some after school.”

  Brady feels like she must drink coffee in order to wake up and gather energy for her first few class periods.

  “If I don’t drink coffee, I am really tired for my first two classes of the day,” Brady said. “I usually am a lot more tired and moody if I don’t drink coffee. Mainly, if I don’t drink coffee, it takes me a lot longer to wake up fully.”

 The caffeine in coffee can lead to possible caffeine addiction, which can result in health problems. A moderate amount of caffeine for total daily ingestion is 400 milligrams. However, according to Caffeine Informer, a venti Pikes Place coffee at Starbucks contains about 410 milligrams of caffeine.

  There are many effects the body can feel once it has withdrawals of caffeine.

Middle school guidance counselor Rylan Smith explains signs and problems of addictions.

 “The biggest thing for any kind of addiction is change in behavior which varies from person to person,” Smith said. “People might start lying, they start making excuses for why they can’t stop doing something or they find they can’t stop the behavior when they know they have to stop. Depending on type of addiction it can change mood, lack of sleep, lack of quality nutrition, could affect someone socially. If you aren’t sleeping, you aren’t performing at your peak.”

  Brady found a difference in her health when she eliminated caffeine from her diet.

  “In 8th grade, I tried to stop drinking coffee, and I got really bad headaches for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t drink coffee for three months after that,” Brady said.

  There are other sources of addiction that don’t involve ingestion, such as video games.

Sophomore Charlie McBroom spends a lot of his time playing video games.

 “I started playing video games around 11 years old and I probably play two hours a day until 11 at night” McBroom said. “When I come home I usually play video games then do my homework. I do think I’m addicted to video games because I grew up with them and I’m constantly playing them. I played actual games when I was younger, but that eventually developed into me playing them now.”

  Smith says addictions such as video games, can allow stimulation to the reward center of your brain and increase the need of adrenaline.

  “When you are constantly in front of a video game your brain is receiving all the adrenaline,” Smith said. “It’s not helpful for your body because you are going to need more and more of an adrenaline rush to keep up with it. It doesn’t give your brain any time to rejuvenate. With the constant adrenaline rush, it can be hard for the body to heal if you can’t fall asleep.”

  Addictions to video games can develop through the fun and mindlessness that it brings to players.

  “Kids can be obsessed with games because they are fun and a way to socialize and interact with a world that is social yet technology driven,” Smith said. “New games [today] offer aspects socially and technologically. It gives you a way to interact with other people socially without actually being there.”

  Knowing and understanding the signs for addiction can help prevent yourself of your friends from becoming dependent on daily habits.

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Daily dependencies