Caffeine is a common part of the day for many people and is found in countless foods and beverages, but this stimulant isn’t always so benign. There are quite a few products out there with an especially high amount of caffeine, one of the most dangerous being pure caffeine powder. This substance has now been linked with multiple deaths of teens and young adults found to have lethal doses of caffeine in their systems. As just a single teaspoon of this substance can be fatal, this is one trend no one should ignore.
What Are the Perceived Benefits of Using Caffeine Powder?
One of the most difficult aspects of this situation is that caffeine hasn’t only been found to be completely safe when used in smaller doses, but it also has a wide variety of potential benefits. As the dose increases, however, the benefits quickly transition into serious risks. For most teens and young adults, the lure of caffeine powder comes down to how much energy it gives them. Much like prescription stimulants that are now being used recreationally at alarming rates, many young people believe this substance will allow them to get homework done faster or excel in sports and hobbies.
Even more dangerous is that some younger customers believe this substance is the perfect option when they’d like to drink or use other drugs for long periods of time without the “crash” associated with binging. Many will sprinkle some of this powder into their alcoholic drinks, add it to other drugs or even put some in beverages that are already caffeinated to party longer and harder. With many teenagers believing this substance can help them with almost every facet of their lives, it’s now becoming more popular than ever.
Caffeine has traditionally been consumed in beverages or foods such as coffee, tea and chocolate. This new product brings caffeine to consumers in the form of a white powder that’s essentially 100 percent pure. Though these products aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and are actually reported as being highly dangerous by a number of medical organizations, they’re still sold online and in a handful of local stores. Most teenagers can purchase around 100 grams of this product for just $10 or $12. The “recommended” dose on many bottles is as low as 1/16 teaspoon, which is an incredibly small amount difficult for anyone to measure accurately. When even a slight bit more is taken, it can lead to serious side effects. A single teaspoon, the amount that has been attributed to multiple deaths worldwide, is equivalent to over 30 cups of coffee at once.
The Risks of Caffeine Powder Use in Teens and Young Adults
Anyone who has ever had one cup of coffee too many has begun to feel exactly what an abundance of caffeine in the body can do. While an exceptionally small amount of around 100 mg can help increase alertness, much more of this stimulant will begin to cause a variety of negative side effects. The initial stage of too much caffeine includes headaches, stomach cramps, dizziness, dehydration, nausea and an irregular heart rate. The heart will begin to pump more blood and the veins will dilate to send red blood cells throughout the body. When a young adult has taken a fatal dose, the individual will often go into shock almost immediately. This includes incoherent speech, vomiting blood, unconsciousness and eventually death.
When pure caffeine is mixed with any other powerful substance, the side effects are compounded. Kids who’d like to stay up and party will often mix caffeine powder with alcoholic drinks, which can be extremely dangerous. These two substances can lead to heart arrhythmia and dilated veins that increase the risk of a heart attack. Parents should also understand that even casually using this substance can lead to long-term issues. Younger adults and teenagers who take heavy doses of caffeine in any form can quickly develop a tolerance and require more of the stimulant to functional normally. It’s recommended that healthy adults stay well under 300 mg of caffeine per day and for teenagers to never consume more than 100 mg per day.
If children are using these types of powerful substances recreationally, there may be deeper issues at hand that must be addressed. Your teenager may be experiencing an overwhelming urge to succeed, or could be peer-pressured by friends into using pure powdered caffeine. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to begin seeking help immediately. Using these types of powerful stimulants at an early age can lead to a wide variety of mental and physical health problems.