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Teens Who Consume Energy Drinks May Be More Likely to Use Alcohol and Drugs: Study

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A new study suggests teens who consume high-caffeine energy drinks such as Monster or Red Bull may be more likely to use alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.

The study included almost 22,000 students in grades 8, 10 and 12, HealthDay reports. The researchers found 30 percent said they drank high-caffeine energy drinks or shots, while more than 40 percent drank regular soft drinks daily, and 20 percent drank diet soda daily. Teens who consumed energy drinks were two to three times more likely to admit recently using drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, compared with teens who didn’t consume energy drinks.

Eighth graders were more likely than older students to use energy drinks. Boys, teens without two parents at home, and those whose parents had lower education levels, were also more likely to consume the drinks. Drinking sodas was related to substance use, but the association was much weaker compared with energy drink consumption.

“The current study indicates that adolescent consumption of energy drinks/shots is widespread and that energy drink users also report heightened risk for substance use,” the University of Michigan’s researchers wrote in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

The researchers note teens who are risk-taking may be more attracted to both energy drinks and to other substances.

4 Responses to this article

  1. Thomas Lartin / August 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I think how people consume these energy drinks is important, some people drink them in an impulsive way all the time. Caffeine is addictive, but also is the sugar. I used to downplay the addictive nature of sugar myself when I consumed it often but no longer do. B-Vitamins are good option for people to look for improved energy and focus, very often people can be deficit in them actually. I read a study that said close to 2/5 of all people do not get the necessary amount of B-12 for example.

  2. Alex Taylor / July 25, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Rather than to consume energy drink it’s better to take fresh juices as soda drink much harmful for health

  3. Jan C / June 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    How am I supposed to use this information? It isn’t going to convince teens that they shouldn’t use energy drinks if they are otherwise pre-disposed to. It doesn’t even add much weight to evidence that energy drinks are bad. Unless I am missing something, publishing this kind of correlation only serves to help people judge teens who use energy drinks in a way that is just plain not helpful. I’m open to hearing what I am missing.

  4. Avatar of Paige
    Paige / March 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Interesting post. I’ve never heard about the correlation between energy drinks and drugs. It’s a scary truth if proven correct. Unfortunately it seems as if more and more teenagers are drinking energy drinks. Is there a particular reason why?

    However, I do think it is a bit bold to say that kids that do drink fizzy and caffinated drinks are more likely to use drugs. Some do not and what about all the coffee drinkers? Do they count or is that different? But if this knowledge can help in prevention of drug abuse, then the knowledge is welcome.

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