Drinking issues among teenagers are not unknown. However, a new study says that teens who mix energy drinks with their alcohol are more likely to develop alcohol use disorders than those who don’t do so.
Researchers from Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center found that teens aged 15-17 years, who mixed alcohol with energy drinks, were four times more likely to meet the criteria for drinking disorders, as compared to teens who consumed alcohol but never mixed it with energy drinks. The team, led by James D Sargent, MD, said, “Mixed use of alcohol and energy drinks may signal the development of abusive drinking behaviors among adolescents.”
These findings are important because it involved a sample of 3,342 young adults across the US. It was found that 9.7% of adolescents aged 15-17 years had consumed an energy drink mixed with alcohol. This group not only had big odds of binge drinking, but also clinically defined the criteria for alcohol use disorder. This abusive alcohol use could lead to risky behavior, injuries, or chronic alcohol abuse in later years.
Given that this is a sensitive issue, it’s possible that clinicians, parents, and educators might open dialogs about alcohol use with adolescents by starting the discussion on the topic of energy drinks.
The study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Source: Science Daily
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