A recent study found published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that teens aged 15-17 years-old who had ever mixed alcohol with energy drinks were four times more likely to meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder than a teen who has tried alcohol but never mixed it with an energy drink.
One of the lead researchers, Dr. Jennifer Emond stated: “These findings are concerning, they highlight that mixed use of alcohol and energy drinks may signal the development of abusive drinking behaviors among adolescents.”
There have been several studies showing a link between drinking alcohol mixed with energy drinks and increased negative outcomes such as binge drinking and risky sexual behavior. However, the majority of studies have been conducted among undergraduate college students.
“Abusive alcohol use among adolescents is a dangerous behavior that can lead to injury, chronic alcohol use and abuse, and even death,” said Emond. “Identifying those most at risk for alcohol use is critical. Given that this is a sensitive issue, it’s possible that clinicians, parents, and educators might open dialogues about alcohol use with adolescents by starting the discussion on the topic of energy drinks.”
If you have questions about whether someone’s drinking or drug use is problematic, call New Bridge Foundation at (866) 772-8491 . Help is a phone call away.