Energy drinks may be gateway to substance abuse, study says

Evrard Martin
Août 13, 2017

Research scientists from the U.S. showed that people who in my youth regularly drink energy drinks with high caffeine content, and in the future may be more likely to develop addiction.

Boys and girls who are fond of energy drinks with high levels of caffeine, subsequently proved to be more often seen in the use of psychoactive substances, compared to those who are indifferent to energy drinks.

The study out of the University of Maryland found that young adults who have energy drinks regularly are more likely to try cocaine and other stimulants.

"The results suggest that energy drink users might be at heightened risk for other substance use, particularly stimulants", says lead researcher Dr. Amelia Arria in a news release. Previously, it was observed that the fans of energy drinks 5 times more likely to receive a traumatic brain injury, in comparison with those who did not drink energy drinks. "Because of the longitudinal design of this study, and the fact that we were able to take into account other factors that would be related to risk for substance use, this study provides evidence of a specific contribution of energy drink consumption to subsequent substance use".

Just over half of the 1099 participants were deemed to be on a "persistent trajectory", indicating they persistently used energy drinks over a four-year period.

High consumption of energy drinks has also been linked to health complaints such as headaches, stomach aches and sleeping problems.

Oddly enough, unlike sugary beverages, energy drinks aren't regulated by the FDA.

Around three per cent of Australians regularly consume energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar, which are particularly popular with people aged 14-30.

The study's findings were published online last week in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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