How to Beat Your Starbucks Addiction

The line is miles long. Your next class starts in 10 minutes. Is it worth it? Do you really need it? You already had one in the morning. But I mean, maybe you should treat yourself, you did just pass your midterm — or maybe you just failed your midterm. Doesn’t matter; the point is all you really need right now is a good cup of Starbucks.

The Starbucks addiction/obsession is really no joke. It is a drug and a stimulant and a highly addictive one at that. So many people drink Starbucks every single day. Some people drink it twice or more daily. There are plenty of people out there who can’t go for 24 hours without downing some coffee.

At first, it may have started as a way for you to perk up for your dreadful 7 a.m. class, or maybe it was how you stayed awake until 4 in the morning, studying for your physics exam. But now, you just watch your Plu$ dollars disappear before your eyes as you catch yourself in the Starbucks line once again, but this time, for no reason at all.

“In high school, I started drinking coffee because my mom would give it to me so I could stay awake," computer science freshman Shefali Saboo said. "And then one day, I went to Starbucks, because they had their half-off sale, and I thought, 'Why not?' And I tried one of their drinks for the first time — their Caramel Frappuccino — and I fell in love. It was love at first sight."

About 200-300 mg of caffeine a day is the safe amount for an adult. A tall iced coffee has 120 mg of caffeine, and a tall mocha or coffee Frappuccino has 65 mg of caffeine. However, if someone starts to exceed that amount per day, there are many side effects, just like every other time the “everything in moderation” rule is violated.

Some extreme side effects of too much caffeine are:

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Stroke
  • High Cholesterol Levels
  • Heart Disease
  • Muscle Twitching/Spasms
  • Fluid loss
  • Dehydration

If you really do have an addiction, here are some steps and ways to overcome it:

1. Accept your addiction, and try to free yourself from it.

The first step to overcome an addiction is to accept you have one and try to get better. Understand that this will be hard, but in the long run, it will improve your health dramatically.

2. Be willing to stay away from Starbucks.

This one is obvious, but it's the most important. Stay away from Starbucks. Far, far away. Take a different route to class or back to your dorm if you have to. Even the smell of Starbucks can jump-start your craving for caffeine all over again. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, migraines, nausea, irritability, etc.

3. Count how much money you spend on Starbucks or coffee per month.

By doing this, you can see how much money is wasted, and instead, you can use that money to buy yourself something nice! Spending $3.75 per day can really add up.

4. Substitute your daily Starbucks drink with water.

Water is extremely important, especially after your first couple of days without caffeine. And drinking caffeine daily can also be unhealthy — it causes people to lose fluids in their body, leading to dehydration.

5. Keep track of how long you haven’t had a cup of coffee.

Keep a calendar and cross off every day you go without caffeine. This will help you see how well you're doing. If you give in, and have a cup, circle the day and start over.

A Starbucks drink now and then isn't harmful. In moderation, caffeine might improve your day. It can give you that extra boost you need and keep you alert. But, like anything else, it has its limits. Be aware of how much caffeine you are consuming every day and find that perfect balance.