Satire: Lincoln’s problem with addiction: The Yerba Mate crisis


Tabitha Lee

Reporter Owen Adams drinking Yerba Mate while writing this article. In this satire piece, Adams discusses Lincoln students’ addiction to the dangerous drink.

Lincoln is facing a crisis that has gone unaddressed for far too long. While our administration has been focused on stopping teens from vaping and drinking alcohol, a different substance has slid under the radar and is poisoning the minds of youth. With merely one drop, you’re hooked with no way out. In order to “awaken the mind, [and] perform extraordinary feats,” students have taken to drinking Yerba Mate, the ultimate vice of our student body.

According to Guyakí, the cartel peddling this dangerous drink, “Yerba Mate culture is an invitation to life.” If you take a second to read critically, this is just pushing the narrative that drug culture is the only way to be “alive.” What makes the drink so lively is Guyakí’s self-described “magical” mate leaves containing energizing powers. The fact that this is a brand people buy into is astonishing; it’s like Jack buying magic beans, except, instead of a cool beanstalk, Lincoln gets teens addicted to Yerba Mate.

With stores like Westside and Eastside selling this stuff right across the street from Lincoln, students have very easy access to this potent elixir. For less than $3, anyone can get their fix of flavors such as “orange exuberance,” “lemon elation” or “enlighten mint,” all marketed with fun colors and branded mini-fridges. Too many people have fallen victim to this marketing trap—the siren call of this cult phenomenon. Let’s not sugarcoat the fact that these are pretty much drug trades happening under the Lincoln administration’s noses.

The Cardinal Times interviewed an anonymous victim of the Yerba Mate crisis. They are a stubborn supporter of the drink.

“I am not ashamed or embarrassed about my addiction, nor do I have any plans to stop anytime soon,” they said.

In between sips of the drink, the source told the Cardinal Times that they would be “a sad lump of skin without Yerba Mate to give meaning to my life.” The interview ended with the source finishing their can of the dangerous drink, giving a resounding, “Yerb fuels my life!” and leaving, presumably to go to Westside for another hit.

Yerba Mate has taken root in Lincoln culture and is rotting it from the inside out. More and more students turn toward Yerba Mate for energy each and every day. Only time will tell how it is going to affect these wayward individuals who continue to put weight on their caffeinated crutch.