Does the consumption of energy drinks lead to drug addiction?
Researchers have now found that young adults who regularly consume energy drinks with a lot of caffeine are more likely to use cocaine and other stimulating substances at a later age.
In their study, scientists from the University of Maryland School of Public Health found that young adults who regularly drink energy drinks have an increased risk of cocaine abuse later in life. The experts published a press release on the results of their study.
Energy drinks can increase the risk of cocaine and alcohol abuse
For the current study, young adults were medically monitored over a period of five years (from 21-25 years). If the participants regularly consumed energy drinks with a lot of caffeine, this increased the risk of using cocaine, psychoactive substances and increased alcohol consumption.
Energy drink users take stimulants more often later in life
"The results indicate that people who drink energy drinks have an increased risk of using other substances, especially stimulants," said the author Dr. Amelia Arria.
Researchers examined almost 1,100 participants for their study
More than half of the 1,099 subjects (51.4 percent) had maintained their consumption of energy drinks over the years. Members of this group used stimulants such as cocaine or other stimulants significantly more often. In addition, these people were at an increased risk of heavy alcohol consumption at the age of 25.
Even occasional consumption can increase the risk
Occasional users (17.4 percent) also had an increased risk of using cocaine and other substances compared to people who never consumed energy drinks (20.6 percent). While the biological mechanism remains unclear, which can lead to the use of other stimulating substances when consuming energy drinks on a regular basis, the results of the study show that this topic urgently needs further investigation, the scientists say.
Experts: Young people and children should be protected from energy drinks
Dr.'s research group Arria had previously examined the health risks that can arise from consuming energy drinks. The experts are leading efforts to protect adolescents and children from these risks, which have a negative impact on cardiovascular function and can even lead to death.
More research on younger subjects is needed
"Future studies should focus on younger people because we know that they also consume energy drinks regularly," explains Dr. Arria in the press release. Now it is necessary to find out whether adolescents are at similar risk and are more likely to abuse various substances through the use of energy drinks later in life, the doctor adds. (as)