The results of a survey of 595 university students in Victoria, Australia will be published in the July 2014 online-only issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. The sample consisted of individuals who reported consuming Alcohol and energy drinks (A+EDs) in the previous three months. Science Daily reports observations by investigator Nic Droste that the research revealed that “subjects’ motivations for mixing A+EDs can help to predict whether or not they experience negative outcomes like aggression and violence, alcohol-related injury, and can also indicate their risk for (alcohol dependence).” Droste’s colleague, Amy Peacock noted that the responses to the survey indicated that ” people who reported using alcohol and energy drinks for ‘hedonistic motives’ — that is, for the taste or the ‘buzz’ — are at higher risk of reporting one, greater alcohol and ED intake, two, alcohol dependence, and three, being in an accident, being injured, or experiencing aggression.”
Droste mentioned another important finding from the study: “People who drank A+EDs to sober up were actually at an increased risk of experiencing alcohol-related injuries and harms,” he said. “This finding is interesting because it could mean that consumers are incorrect if they are assuming that drinking caffeine might reduce their intoxication.” He noted that marketing strategies aimed at convincing consumers that these drinks heighten attention and improve mental and physical performance may be giving them the mistaken notion that they can compensate for alcohol-induced impairments in these functions with the energy drinks. To the contrary, they are making themselves more vulnerable to injury.This is a point that university officials may want to emphasize during freshman orientation to college.
Science Daily’s summary of this study is available here: