Energy drinks linked to alcohol

June 16, 2011 at 8:05 AM
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BUFFALO, N.Y., June 16 (UPI) -- Researchers, in a study involving musicians in Buffalo, N.Y., found the music-makers used energy drinks with binge drinking and prescription drug misuse.

Researchers Kathleen E. Miller and Brian M. Quigley of the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions say the study involved 226 Western New York professional and amateur musicians ages 18-45 -- 94 percent who say they were caffeine users and 57 percent that reported use of energy drinks specifically.

The study, published in the Journal of Caffeine Research, finds 68 percent of the musicians surveyed reported heavy binge drinking at least once or twice a year, while 74 percent report experiencing at least one alcohol-related social problem, such as hangovers, arguing with others about their drinking, or doing something while drinking that they later regretted.

Most also reported recreational drug use: 23 percent say they use prescription drugs, 52 percent say they use marijuana, 25 percent say they use psychedelic drugs, and 21 percent say they use cocaine.

Musicians who say they used energy drinks report significantly more misuse of legal substances than those who did not use energy drinks. For example, 31 percent of energy drink users misused prescription drugs, compared to 13 percent of non-users, and 76 percent reported binge drinking, compared with 59 percent of non-users.

"No question, we've got quite a caffeine habit," Miller says in a statement. "But energy drinks bring something more to the equation."

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