Logan Stiner is believed to be one of the first casualties of the growing popularity of powdered caffeine. The powder that killed him can be fatal at just one spoonful, yet it is completely unregulated. This teenager had been to a workshop at his school a few weeks before his death where he learned about the dangers of using drugs, but he was given no warning about the dangers of powdered caffeine.
Caffeine is Not a Harmless Drug
Caffeine is the most widely consumed legal drug in the world – it is far more popular than even alcohol. Kids are even allowed to drink caffeine and it is a key ingredient in drinks like coffee, tea, and coke. The fact that this drug is so commonplace means that there is an assumption that it is harmless, but this is definitely not the case.
Caffeine is a compound that can be found naturally in plants in the seeds and leaves. It is a type of stimulant drug, which means that when it is consumed it stimulates the central nervous system and boosts alertness. Stimulants are among the most widely abused illegal substances in the world, with this category including drugs like cocaine, crack, crystal meth, Ice, amphetamine, and ecstasy. The caffeine in coffee will not give the same level of stimulation to the nervous system as crack cocaine, but this is mainly because of the much lower dosage.
There was a lot of concern about the amount of caffeine in modern energy drinks, but the availability of caffeine in powered forms is even more concerning. People can have many reasons for turning to these substances. It can be useful for individuals just looking to boost their focus or to help them ‘pull an all-nighter‘. Turning to caffeine may seem like a safe thing to do, as most people are not aware of the dangers.
Too Much Caffeine Can Kill
- tremors/body shakes
- nausea and vomiting
- difficulty breathing
- changes to levels of alertness
- balance problems
- increased need to urinate – urinating more frequently
- symptoms of shock (this is particularly likely with kids).
Making People Aware of the Dangers of Powdered Caffeine
Powdered caffeine is an attractive product to some because it can so easily be added to drinks for a bit of an energy boost. The problem is that it is so easy to abuse this powdered-from of the drug; it is unlikely that the death of Logan Stiner will be the only one. In fact, it is more likely that this will become increasingly common in the future. Logan had over 23 times the amount of caffeine in his system compared to the amount found in a coke; it is doubtful that he could have reached such levels if it was not for the availability of the powder.
One of the biggest fears is that powdered caffeine will start to be used as an ingredient for those engaging in dangerous drinking games (these have become increasingly common due to social media). There have already been causalities when there was only alcohol involved, but powdered caffeine and alcohol would be a deadly combination.