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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2002 Mar 1;66(1):1-6.

Caffeine dependence in teenagers.

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Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, F256/2B West, 2450 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA.


This study identifies and characterizes symptoms of caffeine dependence in adolescents. Thirty-six adolescents who consumed caffeine daily and had some features of caffeine dependence on telephone screen were scheduled for outpatient evaluation. Evaluation included the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV-Youth Version (DISC-IV) and modified DISC-IV questions that assessed caffeine dependence based on DSM-IV substance dependence criteria. Of 36 subjects, 41.7% (n=15) reported tolerance to caffeine, 77.8% (n=28) described withdrawal symptoms after cessation or reduction of caffeine intake, 38.9% (n=14) reported desire or unsuccessful attempts to control use, and 16.7% (n=6) endorsed use despite knowledge of physical or psychological problems associated with caffeine. There was no significant difference in the amount of caffeine consumed daily by caffeine dependent versus non-dependent teenagers. These findings are important due to the vast number of adolescents who drink caffeinated beverages.

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