Harmful Affects of Alcoholic Energy Drinks

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College-age drinkers who drink alcoholic energy-drinks are three times more likely than alcohol-only drinkers to leave a bar drunk. What’s more, those drinking alcohol and energy drinks are four times more likely to attempt drunken driving. Combining energy drinks and alcohol can trick the brain, making people think they're sober -- or sober enough -- when they're not. As many as 28% of college drinkers drink alcohol mixed with energy drinks in a typical month. University of Florida researchers Dennis Thombs, PhD and his team interviewed 800 patrons leaving bars in a college partying area. They asked about their drinking and about whether they intended to drive. Then they checked their breath alcohol concentration levels. The results are interesting, 6.5% had drunk alcohol-energy drink combos. 6.6% had drunk energy drinks and alcohol, but not mixed together. 86% had drunk alcohol only. The average breathes alcohol reading for those who drank alcohol/ energy drinks was 0.109, higher than the legal driving limit of 0.08. The average breath alcohol concentration for those who had alcohol only was 0.081. Those who combined alcohol and energy drinks drank for longer periods of time. Patrons drinking alcohol energy drinks left bars later than those who drank alcohol only. The phenomenon is so common, he tells WebMD, that researchers have coined an acronym for it: AMED, for alcohol-mixed-with-energy-drinks. Often, students drink energy drinks because they are tired and don't start until late and want to have enough energy. They drink these before they go out. Then there's a group that combines alcohol and energy drinks; the most common is Red Bull and vodka. This condition is often described as "wide awake and drunk," the results of a new study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research provide some interesting insights into why. Cecile

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