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Young consumers of energy drinks at risk for substance abuse later in life, finds study

Young consumers of energy drinks at risk for substance abuse later in life, finds study

Energy drinks, one of the most popular dietary supplements among American teens and young adults, are reported to contain high amounts of caffeine. Previous research shows that long-term consumption of such drinks can have serious side effects, such as palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, among others. Now, a new study suggests that young adults who regularly consume highly-caffeinated energy drinks are more likely to develop substance use disorder later on.

Published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in August 2017, the study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health enrolled 1,099 18-year-old college students who were monitored over a five-year period from age 21-25. The participants were surveyed at regular intervals to track changes in various health and risk-taking behaviors.

Connection between energy drink and substance use

Researchers observed that 51 percent of the participants exhibited a persistent four-year course of energy drink consumption and outnumbered those with intermediate or desisting courses. According to the study, participants falling into the persistent and intermediate groups were at the highest risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD), using cocaine and abusing prescription stimulants at the age of 25 years.

“The results suggest that energy drink users might be at heightened risk for other substance use, particularly stimulants. Because of the longitudinal design of this study, and the fact that we were able to take into account other factors that would be related to risk for substance use, this study provides evidence of a specific contribution of energy drink consumption to subsequent substance use,” said Dr. Amelia Arria, the corresponding author.

A prior study done by the Center on Young Adult Health and Development (CYAHD) had documented a strong relationship between energy drink consumption and high-risk drinking and drug use behavior. However, the recent study is the first to examine the effect of energy drink consumption on the likelihood of developing substance abuse later in life.

Seek treatment to embrace a sober life

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an estimated 21.5 million Americans aged 12 years or above battled a substance use disorder in 2014, with more than 14 million of them struggling with AUD alone. A condition characterized by compulsive use of any substance despite knowing its adverse mental and physical consequences, addiction can start in many ways and destroy the user’s life. Taking a significant toll on one’s mind and body, addictive substances like cocaine and/or alcohol can strain relationships, ruin careers and have serious health-related consequences. A habit that comes with many problems, the only way to stop one’s decline is to seek professional treatment.

Remember that addiction to any harmful drug can be treated with timely medical intervention. If you or your loved one is affected by any addiction, don’t hesitate in seeking treatment. Timely help from a reputed health care provider and right treatment can bring the patient back on the path to sobriety.

At the Colorado Detox Helpline, we are willing to provide you all the assistance that you need to get over your addiction and begin your journey to sobriety. For more information on the state-of-the-art alcohol detoxification treatment centers in Colorado and drug detoxification treatment centers in Colorado, please give us a call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 730-5807. You can even chat online with one of our representatives for further assistance.

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