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Snorting Chocolate: Could This Teen Trend Be Deadly?

Raw cocoa beans, clay bowl with cocoa powder, chocolate on table.  

Snorting cocoa may seem rather absurd, but this is a new trend among teenagers, who are snorting a chocolate product called Coco Loko. The product, which came to the United States following a chocolate-snorting trend in Europe, is marketed as an energy supplement with ingredients such as ginkgo biloba, guarana, and taurine. It may lead to health consequences due to its contents as well as its method of administration, which is snorting it.

Dangers of Snorting Chocolate

Snorting cocoa may be a new trend, but many people are wondering, “Is Coco Loko safe?” The answer to this question is that snorting chocolate can have several consequences, despite the fact that the product is legal. These consequences include the following:

  • Sinus & lung damage: The reality is that chocolate powder is a substance that was not meant to be snorted through the nose, and it is dangerous to inhale a solid substance. Experts explain that snorting substances like Coco Loko can cause sinus symptoms that mirror a cold, as well as bloody noses and damage to the lining of the nose, which protects the respiratory system from germs.
  • Cardiovascular issues: Aside from sinus issues, snorting chocolate can cause cardiovascular issues. This is because Coco Loko contains caffeine, guarana, and taurine, all of which are found in energy drinks and have a stimulant effect. According to researchers, the effects of energy drinks on the heart can be devastating due to their high caffeine content. Their consumption, therefore, can lead to cardiovascular complications, including sudden death. Since Coco Loko contains the same ingredients as energy drinks, it can also lead to cardiovascular problems.

Why Are Teens Snorting Chocolate?

Despite the dangers of Coco Loko, teens are snorting chocolate to get high. At this time, Coco Loko is legal and offers an alternative to teen cocaine use, because the stimulants within it can cause users to feel euphoric and experience a buzz. The company that produces the product has even described Coco Loko as providing a rush similar to that seen with ecstasy. Teens are therefore attracted to the product and continue to snort chocolate in order to achieve a high without the ramifications of illegal drug use.

FDA Recommendation

Coco Loko may not be illegal, but it is certainly not safe. In fact, experts warn that medical professionals did not evaluate Coco Loko prior to its development, so it is impossible to know all of the true health risks associated with the product.

The lack of information and the dangers associated with this product have led the FDA to advise against snorting cocoa powder. The FDA has asserted that the makers of Coco Loko present their product as an alternative to illegal drugs, which can encourage teens to begin abusing drugs. In addition, this agency cautions that products like Coco Loko may be unsafe.

Teens who experiment with snorting chocolate may begin to feel that inhalant abuse or snorting drugs is acceptable. This can lead to risky behaviors and abuse of illegal substances, such as cocaine. If a teen in your life seems to be displaying signs of drug addiction, the trained staff Next Generation Village can discuss your concerns and provide you with information about treatment options. Call us today; we’re here to help.

Sources:

Schumer, Charles. “Schumer: Dangerous & Snortable Powder – ‘Coco Loko’ – Being Innocently Masked as Everyday ‘Chocolate” Is About to Hit NY Store Shelves; Kids & Teens at Risk as Docs Cite Very Real Health Concerns; Senator Urges FDA to Immediately Launch an Official Investigation Into ?New Product Before the Damage is Done.” July 10, 2017. Accessed October 10, 2019.

Chrysant, S.G.; Chrysant, G.S. “Cardiovascular complications from consumption of energy drinks: Recent evidence.” Journal of Hypertension, June 19, 2014. Accessed October 10, 2019.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA warns companies for promoting alternatives to street drugs.” December 12, 2017. Accessed October 10, 2019.

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