Caffeinated alcohol drinks offer little protection against intoxication

By Staff Writer

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks has grown into a dangerous trend. While many adolescents and young adults think that it is a safe way to enjoy the intoxication of liquor with the sedating effects, a new study has found that it encourages over-drinking, which may lead to addiction and the need for substance abuse help.

Researchers from Boston University said that many young people who engage in this practice believe that caffeine will shield them from the impairment that alcohol causes. This may make them feel comfortable over-indulging or getting behind the wheel.

However, after testing the reaction time and driving ability of participants who consumed caffeinated alcoholic beverages, the team found little evidence to support the idea that caffeine keeps drinkers sharp. Participants’ reaction times and blood alcohol levels were similar to those who drank liquor without caffeine.

The researchers said that young people – particularly college students, who are among the leaders in mixing alcohol and caffeine – need to be made aware of the dangers of the practice. This may help reduce the number of individuals who develop alcohol addiction or engage in risky behavior.