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.
- Caffeine dependence