Teens Who Mix Alcohol And Energy Drinks May Be More Likely To Develop Alcohol Use Disorders, Says Study
Who hasn't had a vodka and Red Bull or, one of my personal favorites, a good old fashioned Jager bomb? Unfortunately, we've come to find that mixing alcohol and energy drinks isn't exactly the best thing we could be doing for ourselves. Basically it makes you drink more. This means higher levels of intoxication without initially feeling the effects. Anyone who's ever felt the crash after an energy drink binge or blacking out from a little too many $3 shots of happy hour tequila know that the combination of both of these just spells danger.
However, a recent study conducted by researchers at Dartmouth University has found out the combination of alcohol and energy drinks is also spelling out danger for teenagers. Said a press report about the study, "Investigators from Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center found teens aged 15 to 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."
Teen drinkers already have a higher risk for breast cancer, so adding alcohol use disorder to the list is definitely concerning — especially when you think about the fact that high school aged teens are drinking more than ever these days. "These findings are concerning," said author Jennifer A. Emond, MSc, PhD who published "Energy drink consumption and the risk of alcohol use disorder among a national sample of adolescents and young adults," in the Journal of Pediatrics.
"Abusive alcohol use among adolescents is a dangerous behavior that can lead to injury, chronic alcohol use and abuse, and even death," said Emond in the report. "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."
So let's slow the roll on mixing our uppers and downers, eh? And set a better example for the young'uns out there. Maybe Red Bull gives you wings... but you don't want them to end up giving you a halo too.
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