Regularly Consuming Energy Drinks Increases Risk for Substance Abuse

Regularly Consuming Energy Drinks Increases Risk for Substance Abuse

Research scientists from the U.S. showed that people who in my youth regularly drink energy drinks with high caffeine content, and in the future may be more likely to develop addiction.

Study author Dr Amelia Arria from the University of Maryland, said: 'The results suggest that energy drink users might be at heightened risk for other substance use, particularly stimulants'.

While previous research has shown that energy drink consumption is linked to illicit substance use, its effects were mostly found in the near-term, with no examination of longer-term consequences. People who regularly drank energy drinks were also at a greater risk of alcohol abuse within five years.

Of the study's participants, 51.4 percent were identified as having a "persistent trajectory", meaning their energy drink usage didn't dissipate over time.

Marketed primarily to youth, some branding has adopted imagery or slogans that denote risky or aggressive behaviours (e.g., Monster Energy, Red Bull).

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These students were surveyed at regular intervals between the ages of 21-25 in order to track changes in various health and risk-taking behaviours, including energy drink consumption and drug use.

Additional findings by the team found those in the "desisting trajectory" group (those whose consumption declined steadily over time) and the non-use group were not at higher risk for cocaine abuse, NPS and AUD. High energy drink consumption was not only an indicator of future amphetamine and stimulant use. That factor is what put them at increased risk for alcohol and drug use by age 25, the study claims.

Oddly enough, unlike sugary beverages, energy drinks aren't regulated by the FDA.

'We want to know whether or not adolescents are similarly at risk for future substance use'.

'The European Food Safety Authority's latest opinion confirms the safety of energy drinks and their ingredients and therefore does not provide any scientific justification to treat energy drinks differently to other caffeine-based drinks such as coffee'.


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