Drug Addiction Trends: The FDA Gets Involved

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Drug Addiction Trends

Drug Addiction Trends

The National Institute on Drug Abuse issued a report in 2015 outlining the emerging trends in drug addiction, and highlighted the case of an Ohio high school senior who died of an overdose of powdered caffeine. This death prompted the Food and Drug Administration to issue a safety advisory about caffeine powders and their potential for drug addiction and overdose.

Caffeine powder is caffeine in powder form.  Caffeine is naturally found in more than 60 plants including most well known, the coffee bean.  But, man-made caffeine is also added to energy drinks and sold as powder or capsule supplements.  For approximately $10, you can purchase 100,000 milligrams of caffeine powder, which is equivalent to more than 1,000 Red Bull’s worth of caffeine.  As little as two teaspoons of this powder mixed into a drink has the potential to kill.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is quick to point out that caffeine powder is so potent, that safe amounts cannot be measured out with standard kitchen measuring spoons, which is what most purchasers use as their measuring tools.  Chris Holstege, MD, director of toxicology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine concludes that, “The public does not realize the caffeine content present in these products and the risks associated with the ingestion of even small quantities.”

FDA Advice on Powdered Caffeine

The FDA has issued warning about powdered pure caffeine that’s being marketed directly to consumers, and recommending avoiding these unregulated products.  Of special concern is powdered caffeine that is sold in large bulk bags over the internet.  These products are 100% caffeine, where just one teaspoon is roughly equal to 25 cups of coffee.  The FDA is especially targeting parent awareness, and these products are attractive to teens and easily and readily available to them for purchase.

  • Caffeine Overdose:
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stupor
  • disorientation
  • erratic heartbeat
  • seizures
  • death

Government agencies like NIDA continue to monitor trends in drug addiction and experts in the field of drug addiction treatment also are keenly aware of patterns of drug addiction in the population.

The Hills Treatment Center is a prime example of this proactive approach that their staff takes, let by eminent addiction specialist Dr. The Hill’s Program Director C. Samuels.  If you think your teen may be experimenting with pure powdered caffeine, or perhaps you or someone you know has used powdered caffeine in an uncontrolled manner, consult with The Hills about your dilemma.  Be cautious about powdered energy drinks and unregulated supplements, and always consult your physician before ingesting any unprescribed substances.  At The Hills, they care about your health and well being.

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