Md. Health Experts Renew Warnings After Ohio Teen’s Fatal Caffeine Overdose

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ)—There’s a renewed warning from health workers across the nation on the dangers of caffeine. This comes after an Ohio teen dies from an overdose of the drug. Maryland doctors are especially on edge as one of the first cases turned up in Hagerstown.

Gigi Barnett has the details.

Bags of pure caffeine powder were found in the home of 18-year-old Logan Stiner.

Medical examiners say high dosages of it killed the Ohio teen days before his graduation.

“We had never seen this before,” an Ohio official said.

Maybe not in Ohio. But Maryland doctors and drug experts have seen the dangers firsthand.

A caffeine overdose killed 14-year-old Anais Fournier back in 2012.

She drank two 24-ounce cans of the drink Monster Energy within 24 hours at a Hagerstown mall.

It was too much for her heart. Doctors say she died from cardiac arrest caused by caffeine toxicity.

Her family is suing the company.

“She’s been kind of the poster child — and the family — for the dangers and now all of a sudden…Bam, bam — they’re popping up all over the place,” said Mike Gimbel, drug expert.

Gimbel fears more teen caffeine deaths like Logan’s are on the way.

Why? Well, he says more and more companies are marketing high-dose caffeine products, like mint chocolate-flavored coffee grinds, to younger buyers. Plus, the FDA considers caffeine a supplement, which means warning labels are not required.

“I think there’s this false sense of security, this false sense of safety that the public needs to be aware of and understand the dangers of caffeine and too much of caffeine,” Gimbel said.

Drug experts say it’s easy to buy highly-concentrated caffeine products. A bag of pure caffeine can be bought online for as little as $10.

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