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Are Energy Drink Drinkers at Risk?

I would say that the fact that I've seen so many cases with so many injuries and so many tragic outcomes come through our office has caused me to be more apprehensive about products that simply sound more dangerous. it's kind of just the manifestation of my experience. Energy drinks, such as red bull, are a good example.

When the drink Red Bull made its way into the United States mainstream, it got a lot of attention. It seemed that the drink was immediately a staple of bars, particularly those serving younger patrons. I've tried it and I know it mixes well with vodka while keeping you awake for hours on end. Without doing any scientific study at all, and merely just relying upon my experience when trying red bull in my 20s some 10+ years ago, I know that this is some powerful stuff. Most all of us have drank a cup of coffee before going out for a drink or two on those nights when you just feel a little tired but no you have to pull it together and be conversational with friends or wherever you might be meeting out that night. Anyone who has done that also knows that it doesn't really work very well. You drink a cup of coffee and your sleepiness slightly goes away until you are halfway through your first drink. That's when the first yawn of the drink occurs.

So, I have always just figured that there is a ridiculous amount of caffeine, and other stuff, in these energy drinks because when you drink them with alcohol the energy drink seems to always win the stimulant versus depressant bring battle. Not only does any indication of sleepiness simply disappear, you become energized when you were not before. I could only imagine how much caffeine must be in these things for that to be effective. Well, now an interesting report by the substance abuse and mental health services administration, a government agency, has brought the information to light.

The report, out last week, says that 20,783 people visit emergency rooms in 2011 as a results of difficulties they experience after drinking an energy drink. It further provided that more than 10% of people who visited the emergency room 12 years or older for problems involving the strengths are serious enough for them to actually have to be hospitalized. 12% of those only the energy drinks and no other alcohol or drugs. I think we are now down to around 1% of people who went to the emergency room after drinking energy drinks had only drunk the energy drink and were also hospitalized. So, likelihood of severe damange from drinking only the energy drinks seems to be relatively low. However it is also troubling that the report indicated that drinking energy drinks is a mainstay of young adults. The drinks are generally marketed to teens and those now young 20s, a group tends to have not yet developed great judgment and may be more prone to this risk.

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