Alcohol and energy drinks may keep you drinking

KIMT News 3 – It’s a common combination you may hear about, but a recent study is showing the drinks may keep you drinking more.

The study published in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research shows that people drank more alcohol if it was mixed with an energy drink.

75 participants between the ages of 18 and 30 took part in the study. Some were asked to drink just vodka and soda, while others drank vodka and Red Bull energy drink.

The participants would later fill out questionnaires about their drinking experience.

Experts say that by drinking the combination, it can delay the effect of feeling inebriated, even if you are.

One local expert says it can lead to very dangerous decisions.

“It’s my understanding that the body processes stimulants faster than it does with a depressant, such as alcohol and so I may not feel particularly intoxicated If I drink this combination. However, as time progresses, my body will metabolize the stimulant sooner and I will become rapidly and profoundly intoxicated,” said Addiction Specialist with Prairie Ridge Prevention Services, Jay Pedelty.

 

While researchers admit the study is not enough to support tighter restrictions on energy drink mixers, they hope to at least have the message reach others.

“With any addiction, it’s just a matter of how far you are willing to work at it. If I’m drinking more, I’m working harder and the stimulants in combination with alcohol allow me to drink more. Then it increases my risk of developing alcoholism,” said Pedelty.

According to the US Senters for Disease Control and Prevention, energy drinks are consumed by a third of 18 to 24 year-olds.

Drinkers who mix alcohol with energy drinks are three times more likely to binge drink than those who don’t.

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