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Caffeine Overdose: Is It The Next Major Cause of Death for Youth?

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What comes to mind when you first hear about a caffeine overdose?  Some people may use the phrase as a joke for when a friend has drank too much coffee, but it’s actually a real thing. Caffeine overdose is far more serious than just having a bit more caffeine than normal.  In fact, it can be lethal.  This was the case for 18-year-old Logan Stiner, who happened to be announced Prom King and was set to attend the University of Toledo to study chemical engineering, before his premature death from caffeine.

Caffeine Overdose Kills Teen

It was early in the afternoon of May 27 when Stiner’s brother found him on the ground of their home.  When Stiner’s death was pronounced, it shocked his entire hometown of LaGrange, Ohio.  The young boy’s fate stole the opportunity for him to attend his own high school graduation with the rest of his senior class, but it was even more startling when the cause of Stiner’s death was determined.  His death was declared to be caused by a caffeine overdose.  The coroner of the county found that Stiner’s blood had 70 micrograms of caffeine in one milliliter; just 50 micrograms could be lethal.  It was later revealed that Stiner had been getting extremely high amounts of caffeine by adding caffeine powder to his diet.  Typically mixed with water to drink for a quick method of intake, caffeine powder is known for giving a boost particularly to younger generations and exercise extremists.  Stiner had even mentioned to his mother that he took a “pre-work out” drink, as many people do today for extra drive when being active.  A single teaspoon of caffeine powder contains 1,600 milligrams of caffeine, which is on par with 70 cans of Red Bull.

Another Teen’s Death Related to Caffeine

Stiner’s death was not the only tragedy involving a caffeine overdose hitting headlines.  Lanna Hamann of Arizona was just 16 years old when she passed away just a few weeks ago while on a trip out of state.  According to the friends she was with, she complained of feeling ill after drinking multiple cans of energy drinks earlier that day, along with being in the hot sun.  She soon began to have difficulty breathing and later died from cardiac arrest.  A cardiologist confirmed the young girl’s alleged caffeine overdose was likely the cause.  He also went on to warn, “There is medical evidence that these things do harm. They can cause changes in the heart rhythm and impact blood pressure.”

What Happens When A Caffeine Overdose Occurs?

Symptoms of a caffeine overdose include:

Feeling physically ill

Headaches

Jitters

Trouble breathing

Mental confusion

Rapid heart rate

Insomnia

Seizures

With the unexpected deaths of two teens in just a few weeks’ time, the public has officially been warned to watch their intake of caffeine more cautiously than before.  Caffeine is an easily obtainable drug – yes, it is a drug – found in coffee, espresso shots, work-out drink mixes, energy patches, and even caffeine inhalers.  If caffeine overdose can potentially produce a now-known fatal consequence, should there be more warnings or regulations for the sale and purchase of it?  What do you think?

These are not the first cases of caffeine overdose. Read about the deaths that a caffeine overdose from 5 Hour Energy Drinks allegedly caused.




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