Availability of energy drinks may encourage alcohol abuse

By Staff Writer

Recent legislation to restrict the marketing and sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages may help keep these potentially dangerous drinks out of the hands of many people. However, some experts are voicing concern that the wide availability of non-alcoholic energy drinks may continue to lead people into trying this hazardous mixture.

Studies have shown that individuals who mix energy drinks an alcohol are more likely to binge drink and develop an addiction, which may require substance abuse help. Additionally, these people have been shown to be more likely abuse other illicit substances.

Restricting the sale of premixed alcoholic energy drinks may have little impact on the rate of consumption of these beverages. A team of researchers from the University of Maryland recently found that individuals are just as likely to mix their own drinks.

This can be dangerous for several reasons. The researchers said that individuals who drink caffeinated alcoholic beverages are more likely to underestimate their level of impairment. This may result in more sexual assaults and drunk driving incidences. Additionally, drinking more alcohol in one sitting may increase the risk of addiction, which can result in a need for drug rehab.