(CNN) — An Ohio teen is dead after doctors say he took caffeine powder that is legal in some states.
At Keystone High School in LaGrane, Ohio, students were left with heavy hearts after learning of the death of Logan Stiner back in May.
The 18-year-old prom king was days away from graduation when he was found dead at home.
It took more than a month to figure out — but the county coroner now says he died from an overdose of caffeine.
“I mean, this is news to the coroner’s office. We had never seen this before,” Loraine County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans said.
Dr. Evans says an autopsy on Logan Stiner didn’t reveal anything — but after a bag of caffeine powder was found, they retested Stiner’s blood and found a deadly amount in his system.
According to Dr. Evans, Stiner mixed the powder with a drink, and his body couldn’t handle it.
“What it does is it leads into cardiac arrhythmias, which is speeding heart and it leads into seizures. Those two things are what took his life,” Dr. Evans said.
“He was just a terrific kid. He was a role model for the Special Olympic athletes. They loved having him there,” Superintendent Jay Arbaugh said.
The caffeine powder isn’t illegal in Ohio — and it’s available all over the internet — a problem for Dr. Evans, who says people don’t understand its danger.
“We found out that this was being sold in bulk form, in a powder form and it was being used by young people, especially students, especially athletes. And it was just to give them edge, because most of them, like all of us, thought — well it’s innocuous. You know, it can’t hurt you,” Dr. Evans said.
Officials don’t know how much Stiner took, but according to Dr. Evans, one teaspoon mixed with water would be like drinking 30 cups of coffee at once.
“That’s a very dangerous situation and I think it needs to be regulated better,” Ohio state Senator Gayle Manning said.
Manning says: “My heart aches for Stiner’s family. I have been in contact with local officials to determine the scope of this issue and to determine if any action would be beneficial to address it. I encourage anyone with additional insight or ideas to contact my office.”
“It’s the number one stimulant drug in the United States, and it can be abused just like any other drug can be,” Dr. Evans said.
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