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Medicine Science

Energy Drinks May Trigger Future Substance Use, Says Study (medscape.com) 233

New research suggests persistent consumption of energy drinks may predispose young adults to substance use. "Investigators, led by Amelia M. Arria, PhD, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, found that college students who regularly drink highly caffeinated energy drinks were at increased risk for later use of alcohol, cocaine, or prescription stimulants," reports Medscape. From the report: The research included students enrolled in an ongoing longitudinal study that began in 2004 at a large public university. The analysis included 1099 participants (54% women; 72% non-Hispanic white) who completed at least one annual assessment in which patterns of energy drink consumption were assessed. In interviews, participants were asked which energy drinks they had consumed, and how often, in the past year. They were categorized into three patterns of use: Frequent (52 or more days); Occasional (12 - 51 days); Infrequent (1 - 11 days). The investigators found that sensation seeking, conduct problems, and behavioral dysregulation were all positively associated with a higher probability of energy drink consumption, with the nonuse group having the lowest and the persistent group the highest risk scores. The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
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Energy Drinks May Trigger Future Substance Use, Says Study

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  • Drink some Green Tea Beaver Buzz. Almost 400mg of caffeine https://www.amazon.com/Canadia... [amazon.com]

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @09:22AM (#55024853)

      I expect that is the reason between the correlation of Energy Drinks and drug dependencies.
      If you take a substance any substance, because of the buzz or numbing feeling, (which these feelings often happen when your body is chemically out of wack) then chances are you will get addicted to that feeling and move up.

      I drink coffee in the morning, I don't get a buzz, but I like the taste. If I don't have coffee in the morning I function just fine. If I have too much and get a buzz, I don't like the feeling, so I stop. The same is if I am drinking a hard drink. Once I start feeling it, I stop, because I know I had too much. But if I was in search for the Buzzed feeling, chances are I would keep drinking to keep that feeling.
       

  • by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @05:10AM (#55023767) Journal
    It would surprise me if the relation was anything else than social. The same social groups that drink energy drinks also use more drugs. If there is a hard reason for this, my first guess would be to look at the income.
    • It would surprise me if the relation was anything else than social. The same social groups that drink energy drinks also use more drugs.

      Yep. Definitely got the cart and the horse the wrong way around here.

      • by ffreeloader ( 1105115 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @06:20AM (#55023939) Journal

        As someone who spent a decade in active drug addiction I can say from experience that this research has it right. The people who drink highly caffienated drinks on a daily basis over a period of time are developing a psychological, and physical, addiction to a mind altering substance. They drink massive amounts of caffience for the buzz it gives them. And they come to rely on that to get them to an altered mental state.

        That altered state is the goal. And that is what addiction is all about. People get to depend on that altered state, and that is the psychological part of addiction, and actually the worst part of addiction. Why? Because the physical addiction is fairly easy to break compared to the mental habit of relying on something outside of yourself to make you feel good. That mental habit is extremely hard to break. That memory that feeling good is only a substance use away.

        That buzz off caffiene is a gateway drug effect. Scoff if you want, but as an addict I can tell you that is how an addict thinks. I've been clean for 25 years now and the urge is less than it used to be, but that thought still crosses my mind when I'm having a really bad day.

        • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @07:19AM (#55024125) Homepage
          If one goes to any 12 Step Meetings then they will discover that there is coffee and lots of people that claim, like you, that they "know how addicts think". If you go to your local Starbucks you will find coffee and lots of people who claim they have no idea how "an addict thinks". If you can't see what is wrong with your claim that coffee leads to addiction now, you should probably stop filling your head with the nonsensical cognitive distortions prevalent in said meetings.
          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            If one goes to any 12 Step Meetings then they will discover that there is coffee...

            Doesn't that support GP's assertion that people who are seeking an altered mental state will demonstrate that behavior with caffeine as easily as they do with other drugs? Smoking used to be huge at 12 step meetings too. An alcoholic's addictive behavior isn't necessarily limited to alcohol.

            All of this seems to imply to me that people who like using stimulants continue to like using stimulants.

          • Actually caffeine addiction exists, but it is quite rare.

            I for my part used to drink "out of habit" about 6 coffee a day.

            But since 4 or 5 years I stopped (without any special afford).

            I still drink green tee, though. About a can a day when I work ... none at all when I'm not working.

          • Which would seem to suggest to me that caffeine addicts by and large simply aren't aware of their addiction in those terms, possibly because it's one of the few addictions that our society actively encourages, and which carries no social stigma even when indulged at dangerous levels.

          • Your logic is something else. It's pretty easy to beat up a straw man. I never said coffee leads to addiction. I said that the using of high levels of caffiene over periods of time leads to addiction. If you don't think caffiene is physically addictive, well, you're going to have to argue that with the scientists. They say it is. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/... [smithsonianmag.com]

            My experience with it says it is too. When I stopped using it I felt lousy for weeks and had major headaches besides. Those are the withdrawal symp

            • You're implicitly referencing at least two different definitions of addict but treating them as the same.

              Are you addicted to water? Breathing? Fapping?

              The difference is 'continue to use despite negative consequences'.

        • Obligatory: Awkward Yeti [theawkwardyeti.com]
        • That altered state is the goal. And that is what addiction is all about. People get to depend on that altered state, and that is the psychological part of addiction, and actually the worst part of addiction. Why? Because the physical addiction is fairly easy to break compared to the mental habit of relying on something outside of yourself to make you feel good. That mental habit is extremely hard to break. That memory that feeling good is only a substance use away.

          Addiction roots from biological makeup, th

        • by epine ( 68316 )

          That altered state is the goal.

          Which came first? The goal or the behaviour?

          I like a mild buzz, and maybe every year or three I like to get ripped for all of one evening, but mostly I like my buzz mild.

          Eventually I worked out that two 7 g pour-overs spaced about four hours apart is my optimum caffeine intake for the day. I now think twice before adding a green tea. My buzz is perfectly dialed in.

          It's the difference between Larry Flynt kicking his addition after surgery (his distress was mainly physical) a

    • I'm going to place my money on the fact that sugar is highly addictive, and people who are susceptible to addiction will be attracted to both sugary energy drinks, and other substances.
      • by swb ( 14022 )

        I wonder if the researchers controlled for users who drank sugar sweetened vs. artificially sweetened energy drinks.

        There are some serious people who claim that sugar has addictive properties on par with cocaine.

    • It would surprise me if the relation was anything else than social. The same social groups that drink energy drinks also use more drugs.

      Could be social, or it could be biological, or some of both. Either way, it seems likely that this correlation is caused by a third factor.

      That said, energy drinks are a bad idea. They knock your system around pretty hard with a massive shot of caffeine plus a big jolt of sugar... and lots of them have several other mind-altering ingredients, all relatively mild in small doses, and therefore unregulated, but energy drinks use a lot of them. A handful of teens have actually been killed by caffeine overdose

    • The personality that wants to get such a buzz from caffeine, means they may want to get a buzz from something else.

      Some people don't like the feeling of a caffeine buzz, so they don't go after that food, and also don't try other things, as the buzzed feeling is unpleasant to them.

  • Yes (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I smoked weed first and drank energy drinks second.
    I can see now what triggered my drinking...

  • How many times? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Marcpek ( 4861773 )
    Correlation causation. Correlation causation. Correlation causation. The original article acknowledges this and it does not reach that conclusion. Yet, the title reads "energy drinks MAY trigger future substance use". By the same logic I guess we can also say "eating vegetables may trigger schizophrenia" or "eating hamburgers may trigger a healthy lifestyle" or "doing drugs may trigger a happy and fruitful life" or "staring at the sun may trigger improved gaming skills". Those are all true statements, ar
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Correlation causation. Correlation causation. Correlation causation. The original article acknowledges this and it does not reach that conclusion. Yet, the title reads "energy drinks MAY trigger future substance use". By the same logic I guess we can also say "eating vegetables may trigger schizophrenia" or "eating hamburgers may trigger a healthy lifestyle" or "doing drugs may trigger a happy and fruitful life" or "staring at the sun may trigger improved gaming skills". Those are all true statements, aren't they?

      You do realize that the only way you ever conclude "causation" is by first finding "correlation"?

      • Re:How many times? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @06:04AM (#55023907)

        You do realize that the only way you ever conclude "causation" is by first finding "correlation"?

        True. Very observant and astute of you.

        Why does the idiot slashdot editor need to come to that conclusion without evidence?

        Clicks.

        This place is getting retarded. They found a way to get lots of clicks (post lots of political bullshit) and now it's in the tank. Just like long time users predicted would happen when a marketing company run by millennials bought it.

        It's going to be a steady stream of "this housewife figured out how to impeach trump with this one trick" crap very soon.

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          It's going to be a steady stream of "this housewife figured out how to impeach trump with this one trick" crap very soon.

          Tell me more about this housewife!

      • by hord ( 5016115 )

        Multiple correlations. Not just one. From one experiment. Multiple from multiple experiments attempting to test multiple facets of the same problem domain. Yes, correlation and causation are correlated! One more so than the other!

    • by Cigaes ( 714444 )

      Indeed, I was about to post that this was a typical “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, but you beat me to it.

      In this particular instance, there is an obvious common cause: being open to artificial stimulations of the mind.

    • ... "staring at the sun may trigger improved gaming skills"...

      You finally figured out how to get gamers Outside!

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      There are different degrees of "may." Treating all uses of "may" as equivalent is intellectually dishonest, something you accuse the summary of. "Driving faster may increase risk of injuries in a crash" is more reasonable than "staring at the sun may trigger improved gaming skills", even if for the sake of argument the former isn't proven causation.

    • The correlation is simple: Use of one psychoactive drug means you're more likely to use other psychoactive drugs. Caffeine is a drug. A legal drug, but a drug nonetheless.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @05:21AM (#55023799)

    People who use stimulants are likely to use stimulants.

    Where do I apply for money for such studies? I'm asking for a friend...

    • by Q-Hack! ( 37846 ) *

      Studies show that mothers breast milk is a gateway drug which leads to death.

    • by Kiuas ( 1084567 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @06:17AM (#55023931)

      People who use stimulants are likely to use stimulants.

      Where do I apply for money for such studies? I'm asking for a friend...

      My thoughts exactly.

      What's interesting to me is that in so far as I can tell they did not do any kind of comparison with regular old coffee, you know, the age old stimulant that's even more potent in caffeine than some energy drinks. As a curiosity this sort of panic over 'energy drinks' such as coffee is not new [wikipedia.org]

      Coffee first arrived in Sweden around 1674, but was little used until the turn of the 18th century when it became fashionable among the wealthy. In 1746, a royal edict was issued against coffee and tea due to "the misuse and excesses of tea and coffee drinking". Heavy taxes were levied on consumption, and failure to pay the tax on the substance resulted in fines and confiscation of cups and dishes. Later, coffee was banned completely; despite the ban, consumption continued.

      Gustav III, who viewed coffee consumption as a threat to the public health and was determined to prove its negative health effects, ordered a scientific experiment to be carried out.

      The king ordered the experiment to be conducted using two identical twins. Both of the twins had been tried for the crimes they had committed and condemned to death. Their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment on the condition that one of the twins drank three pots of coffee, and the other drank the same amount of tea, every day for the rest of their lives.

      Two physicians were appointed to supervise the experiment and report its finding to the king. Unfortunately, both doctors died, presumably of natural causes, before the experiment was completed. Gustav III, who was assassinated in 1792, also died before seeing the final results. Of the twins, the tea drinker was the first to die, at age 83; the date of death of the surviving coffee drinker is unknown.

      In 1794, the government once again tried to impose a ban on coffee. The ban, which was renewed multiple times until the 1820s, was never successful in stamping out coffee-drinking. Once the ban was lifted, coffee became a dominant beverage in Sweden, which since has been one of the countries with the highest coffee consumption per capita in the world.

      The experiment has jokingly been called "the first Swedish clinical trial"

      The arguments raised then were pretty much exactly the same as they're now with energy drinks, namely that 'oh the youth of today does nothing but sit at cafes sipping this brown liquid, it's going to make them decadent idiots and losers!"

      As a Finn I do have to point out as the centuries long neighborhood 'feud' between us and the Old Kingdom necessitates that we've got the nr. 1 place in coffee consumption [worldatlas.com]. Filthy casuals. ;)

      I've got to go now, my IV drip of Ecuadorian dark roast is running empty and the typing speed is falling to below 500 words a minute.

      • I generally liked Finnish food (like blueberry soup, kotikalja, Karelian pies, Tupla, egg butter and omg the cloudberry, the cloudberry) when I worked there for a year or so, but I never really got the coffee obsession. Tea or herbal infusion fit the climate better, I think.

        • by Kiuas ( 1084567 )

          I generally liked Finnish food (like blueberry soup, kotikalja, Karelian pies, Tupla, egg butter and omg the cloudberry, the cloudberry)

          Thank you, you have a fine taste, herr Falke.

          when I worked there for a year or so, but I never really got the coffee obsession.

          Well, it's not exactly clear to us either why it's become as prominent as it has, but seriously the aforementioned bans from the age of Swedish rule affected it greatly. You see, even though we were loyal subjects of the kingdom for close to 8 cen

      • At least we know now that drinking tea is "more dangerous" than drinking coffee.
        Alas, and i mostly gave up drinking coffee and switched to green tee.

    • I would like to be your friends guinea pig, and try the substances ;D

  • by skovnymfe ( 1671822 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @05:25AM (#55023825)

    Cool kids drink energy drinks, and they drink alcohol and they do party drugs. So conversely drinking energy drinks and alcohol and doing drugs makes you one of the cool kids, right? Only you'll never be one of the cool kids, because frankly you're just an imitating loser, only now you're also an addict, and a point in a statistic which has no basis in reality, and which is created by people who never experienced being one of the cool kids, or one of the addicts. Or possible was one of the addicts at one point, but got better and had their opinion of the cool kids turn sour. So now they're after the least prickly of the three - can't chase down the drugs, that doesn't work, and can't chase down the alcohol, that doesn't work either - DEATH TO ENERGY DRINKS!

  • So people who habitually seek out a stimulate are more likely to also be the the same people who go on to seek out other stimulates you say?
  • How many of these people either work, study, or work and study to the point they're often tired and/or sleep deprived and use energy drinks as a crutch to keep going?

  • My older brother has an addictive personality. He chugs Red Bull and cigarettes in equal measure.
  • I hate energy drinks. Diggusting. Having said that, this study is another one of those "look at the study!" pieces of garbage.

    I'd love to see a study done at some University about how people with an increased desire for a high intake of sugary products on a regular basis have a higher tendency toward substance abuse. How about that one?

  • ZOMG - Redbull and Rockstar are gateway drugs that ultimately lead to heroin abuse. Quick, add that to the list of illegal substances! Think of the children.
  • Their is probably a correlation between drinking soda and drug use to. You've proven you will put anything in your pie-hole.
  • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @07:21AM (#55024139) Homepage

    There's a particularly nasty case of ADHD on one of my parents family's, on the other multigenerational alcoholism.

    It's as if the two families were in competition for which side can screw their lives up the most. Knowing this from an early age I've always been careful to avoid ending up in any kind of dependency situation. I'll keep alcohol consumption limited to 2 or 3 drinks, and refuse any non-prescription drug, heck I even avoid painkillers.

    Personally I've noticed a real sensitivity to things as simple as sugar messing with my moods. I can have a soda or juice and a short time later "What the heck am I saying??" Yep, there was corn syrup in that.

    So definitely, I'm the people in the article, who can't even have an energy drink without increasing their chance for ending up in heated arguments, lack of impulse control and general sketchy behavior.

    At least I've never been arrested.

  • Am I the only one here that thinks that "non-hispanic white" is a bizarre classification?

    Is a hispanic white a different race than non-hispanic white? Both have the same genetic background after all.

    How are the genes from a white person that grew up in Montevideo Uruguay any different than the ones of a white person that grew up in Minnesota?
    • Hispanics are either white or not. Depending on what statistical lie is being told that day and by who. Non-hispanic white is just removing the ambiguity.

  • From what I've seen of the users of energy drinks many of them are already abusing drugs, caffeine and whatever else is in those drinks.

  • It's almost as if substance abuse isn't about the specific substance, whether it be caffeine, alcohol, marijuana or heroin, but rather is all about the abuse and the behaviors surrounding it. As if even were those substances totally eliminated off the face of the Earth, substance abusers would find something else to abuse.
  • Study finds ever energy drink consumer tried water before. 100%
  • I think I'll start lobbying to get support for legislation to make coffee a Schedule 1 drug, requiring a doctors prescription to obtain it, and stiff penalties involving fines and jail time for driving while under the influence of it, or allowing access to it by a minor. How do you all think that'll go for me?

    Seems like a couple times a year shitty 'studies' like this get into the news, but they never talk about coffee, now do they? Or No-Doz, which you can buy at any grocery store, and nobody is going t
  • Opposite of "sensation seeking" would be "sensation avoiding". Wouldn't it? Perhaps "sensation-indifferent". Or maybe "numbness seeking".

    When did "sensation seeking" become a symptom of a mental disorder?

  • The corps selling this stuff know exactly what they are doing. Get your customer hooked and you have a customer for life.

    Caffeine, nicotine, sugar/hfcs, the original coke with cocaine, etc... It's an endless cycle of sociopaths who will sell anything for a profit.

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