Teen Addiction: Adolescents Are Smoking…Coffee?

If you’re a caregiver or parent, you might be familiar with the more well known addictions, such as to marijuana, alcohol, heroin, or methamphetamine. But you may not be aware of other drugs and chemicals that teens might explore to get a high. Although it might not sound bad because millions of Americans drink coffee every day, smoking coffee can be dangerous.


Ingesting coffee in this way doesn’t take much extra work. Grab some ground up coffee, roll it up in cigarette paper, and start smoking. But if you want to avoid some serious side effects, then it’s best to avoid it. Users report experiencing hallucinations, vomiting, dizziness, and trouble breathing after smoking coffee. In fact, one user commented online that it made it feel like “sh*t”.


Nonetheless, teens are willing to try anything to get high, even using solvents or inhalants around the house, which is another bad idea. Sadly, if a teen really wants to figure out how to smoke coffee, they can learn about it through the many tutorials on You Tube. One teen reported:


I needed something fast, cheap and easy that delivered the caffeinated experience my patrons crave. After some soul-searching in the alleyways of the more dubious neighborhoods near my hometown, I found it.


Smoking coffee is not a new trend, but it gets press from time to time, which results in more teens wanting to try it. Similarly, although the use of inhalants peaked in the 1990’s, it continues to be a problem among teens. Different forms of inhalants adolescents use for a high include glue, gasoline, nail polish remover, shoe polish, paint and paint thinner, aerosol products, and correction fluid. The effects of inhaling these products can last from 15-30 minutes and create a feeling of euphoria. However, damaging effects include a rapid heart rate, central nervous system problems, spasms in limbs, brain damage, and hearing loss. Although these can result in those who use inhalants regularly, they can also appear after first time use.


Like coffee, inhalants are technically legal but using them in a way that’s not intended is dangerous. In addition to damaging health effects, smoking coffee can create dire circumstances in the life of a teen. For instance, one teen described smoking coffee as the “stupid idea of the week”. He continued by saying while it “does work,” he didn’t recommend doing it often, as the health effects have not been studied.


If parents wanted to further investigate what teens are saying about this coffee trend, they can read the words of other adolescents. And then perhaps encourage their teen to stay away from such experimentation. A teen who is curious enough to smoke coffee might also smoke marijuana and other more dangerous drugs.


In fact, in his book on Adolescent Depression: A Guide for Parents, Francis Mark Mondimore, Ph.D., clearly outlines the stages teens go through with respect to drug use. It begins with experimentation; moves on to regular use, and can escalate to developing an addiction. These stages are curiosity, experimentation, drug seeking, drug pre-occupation, and addiction.


With regard to smoking coffee and the dangers of experimentation, Mondimore points out that the first stage is ideal for prevention. At this stage, adolescents are more open to discussions about why to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Mondimore points out:

If your child is beginning to express their curiosity in alcohol, marijuana, or illegal substances, having a very candid discussion with them about the consequences might help prevent drug use.


Some teens may begin to do this kind of exploration and discover that the effects of smoking coffee are in fact not worth the high. They may discover on their own that ingesting coffee by smoking it is in fact the “stupid idea of the week”. Nonetheless, parents can facilitate their children’s steering clear of drugs and drinking.