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Study: Energy drinks associated with increased alcohol and drug abuse

Photo by EARL S.CRYER/AFP/Getty Images

MARYLAND —  Researchers in Maryland studied over 1,000 21-year-old undergraduates for up to five years and found that young people who regularly consume energy drinks, were more likely to use cocaine by age 25.

The study also states that they are also more at risk of taking prescription drugs for non-medical reasons and having alcohol problems. Researchers could not find a causal link between energy drinks and drug use, but speculate energy drink users may be more likely to seek out other stimulants.

“The results suggest that energy drink users might be at heightened risk for other substance use, particularly stimulants,” said Dr. Arria, associate professor of behavioral and community health and CYAHD director. “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.”

The researchers also found their results held true regardless of how many energy drinks a participant consumed, whether infrequently, occasionally or frequently.

You can read their full study here.