Energy Drinks May Lead to Alcohol Dependence

College officials and parents have longed worried about students during Spring Break which is notorious for binge-drinking parties and impulsive behaviors. Now, medical authorities are giving them another reason to keep an eye on students this week.

A new study shows that mixing alcohol and energy drinks – a trend among some young adults – can not only make users feel highly stimulated and impulsive but put them at a higher risk for alcohol dependence.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has deemed certain products mixing alcohol and energy drinks as unsafe, college students may still combine the two on their own.

When people mix high levels of caffeine with alcohol, they’re not as aware of how intoxicated they are – a state referred to as “wide-awake drunkenness.” This can lead them to drink more or to think they’re all right to drive, studies have shown.

New data, published in the February issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, now shows that drinking energy drinks 52 times or more within a year puts students at a higher risk for alcohol dependence.

After interviewing more than 1,000 public university students, researchers found that those who regularly drank energy drinks were more likely to get drunk at an earlier age, drink more in one sitting and were more likely to develop alcohol dependence.

Alcohol use has been linked to cancers of the mouth, liver and breast. Health officials recommend limiting the amount of alcohol to reduce this risk. Women should have no more than one drink per day. For men, the limit is two.

Read about Alcohol Awareness Month

Learn More about Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Speak Your Mind