Could Caffeine Inhalers Be Next in Line for Abuse in Clubs?

caffeineThe term “club drug” is generally used for substances that allow the user to artificially increase their energy so they are able to dance, drink and socialize late into the night or early morning. These drugs up until now have included GHB, Ecstasy, methamphetamines and LSD, and carry with them their own negative and potentially fatal consequences when abused on the club scene. However, a new product called Aeroshot, intended to occasionally provide coffee drinkers an easy way to get their caffeine fix for the day has some policymakers and doctors concerned.

Aeroshot sounds benign enough; it is a puff of caffeine infused with lemon-lime flavored powder that you inhale when you are on the go and don’t have time to brew a cup of coffee. However, Senator Charles Schumer of New York is not convinced of Aeroshot’s safety and has petitioned the FDA to take a closer look at how the caffeine inhalers will be used in reality, especially on the club and party circuit.

Where Do The Concerns Over Aeroshot Originate?

Many have the same concerns about the caffeine inhalers that they had about caffeinated alcoholic beverages. Because they were inexpensive, college students ended up abusing the drinks in order to party late into the night. The alcoholic energy drinks were given the nickname “blackout in a can.”

Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, a gastroenterologist and doctor of internal medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, believes there are some medical reasons to take a closer look at the caffeine inhalers. She sees different effects on the body when you drink caffeine versus inhale it.

Ganjhu says: “You want those 10 cups of coffee, it will probably take you a couple hours to get through all that coffee… with these inhale caffeine canisters you can get that in 10 of those little canisters – so you just puff away and you could be getting all of that within the hour.”

She feels this difference could lead to a high potential for abuse and dependency.

Caffeine Inhaler Inventor Claims the Product Is Perfectly Safe

Nevertheless, Dr. David Edwards, a professor at Harvard and the creator of Aeroshot, points out that the inhalers are safe and do not have taurine, which energy drink makers use to amplify the effects of caffeine. He also makes it known that he is not marketing to minors as some caffeine drink companies have been accused of doing.

At the same, too much caffeine is dangerous. It can cause an erratic heartbeat, anxiety, sleeplessness, vomiting, and if abused in large enough amounts, it can cause a deadly overdose. Dr. Robert Glatter, an E.R. doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC, believes, “Significant public education is paramount in order to avert dangerous outcomes” with the Aeroshot inhalers.

Do you think teens or college students may abuse the new caffeine inhalers? Let us know your thoughts below.

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