Event-level analyses of energy drink consumption and alcohol intoxication in bar patrons

Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32610-0175, USA.
Addictive behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.76). 11/2009; 35(4):325-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.11.004
Source: PubMed


To assess event-level associations between energy drink consumption, alcohol intoxication, and intention to drive a motor vehicle in patrons exiting bars at night.
Alcohol field study. Data collected in a U.S. college bar district from 802 randomly selected and self-selected patrons. Anonymous interview and survey data were obtained as well as breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) readings.
Results from logistic regression models revealed that patrons who had consumed alcohol mixed with energy drinks were at a 3-fold increased risk of leaving a bar highly intoxicated (BrAC> or =0.08g/210L), as well as a 4-fold increased risk of intending to drive upon leaving the bar district, compared to other drinking patrons who did not consume alcoholic beverages mixed with energy drinks.
These event-level associations provide additional evidence that energy drink consumption by young adults at bars is a marker for elevated involvement in nighttime risk-taking behavior. Further field research is needed to develop sound regulatory policy on alcohol/energy drink sales practices of on-premise establishments.

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    • "A GROWING TREND in recent years has been to combine caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol, due in part to the tremendous growth in energy drink sales (Reissig et al., 2009; Seifert et al., 2011). In the United States, epidemiological studies (Arria et al., 2010, 2011), supported by field testing data (Pennay et al., 2015; Thombs et al., 2009), indicate that consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks is common. Unfortunately, consuming these mixtures has been associated with increases in emergency room visits (SAMHSA, 2011, 2013), suggesting that consumption of these drinks can be dangerous. "
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    ABSTRACT: Energy drinks are popular mixers with alcohol. While energy drinks contain many ingredients, caffeine is an important pharmacologically active component and is generally present in larger amounts than in other caffeinated beverages. In these studies, we investigated the hypothesis that caffeine would influence the effects of alcohol (ethanol [EtOH]) on conditioned taste aversion (CTA), ataxia, and locomotor activity (LA) after repeated exposure. Four groups of mice were exposed by oral gavage twice daily to vehicle, EtOH (4 g/kg), caffeine (15 mg/kg), or the EtOH/caffeine combination. CTA to saccharin and ataxia in the parallel rod task was evaluated after 8 or 16 gavages, respectively, using EtOH (1 to 3 g/kg) or EtOH/caffeine (3 mg/kg + 2 g/kg) challenges. In addition, LA was evaluated initially and after repeated exposure to oral gavage of these drugs and doses. Repeated oral gavage of EtOH produced significant locomotor sensitization, with those mice increasing total distance traveled by 2-fold. The locomotor response to caffeine, while significantly greater than vehicle gavage, did not change with repeated exposure. On the other hand, repeated gavage of caffeine/EtOH combination produced a substantial increase in total distance traveled after repeated exposure (~4-fold increase). After repeated EtOH exposure, there was significant tolerance to EtOH in the CTA and parallel rod tests. However, neither a history of caffeine exposure nor including caffeine influenced EtOH-induced CTA. Interestingly, a history of caffeine exposure increased the ataxic response to the caffeine/EtOH combination and appeared to reduce the ataxic response to high doses of EtOH. The data support the general hypothesis that repeated exposure to caffeine influences the response to EtOH. Together with previously published work, these data indicate that caffeine influences some EtOH-related behaviors, notably locomotion and ataxia, but appears not to influence the expression of conditioned behaviors. Copyright © 2015 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
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    • "A growing body of survey research shows that people who consume AmED generally self-report greater and more frequent alcohol use, as well as increased odds of sexual risk-taking, driving risk-taking, illicit drug use, and being physically hurt, injured, or requiring medical treatment, compared to people who consume alcohol (e.g., O'Brien et al., 2008, Miller, 2012, Arria et al., 2010, Arria et al., 2011, Snipes and Benotsch, 2013, Thombs et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence indicates that consumers of alcohol mixed with energy drink (AmED) self-report lower odds of risk-taking after consuming AmED versus alcohol alone. However, these studies have been criticized for failing to control for relative frequency of AmED versus alcohol-only consumption sessions. These studies also do not account for quantity of consumption and general alcohol-related risk-taking propensity. The aims of the present study were to (i) compare rates of risk-taking in AmED versus alcohol sessions among consumers with matched frequency of use and (ii) identify consumption and person characteristics associated with risk-taking behavior in AmED sessions. Data were extracted from 2 Australian community samples and 1 New Zealand community sample of AmED consumers (n = 1,291). One-fifth (21%; n = 273) reported matched frequency of AmED and alcohol use. The majority (55%) of matched-frequency participants consumed AmED and alcohol monthly or less. The matched-frequency sample reported significantly lower odds of engaging in 18 of 25 assessed risk behaviors in AmED versus alcohol sessions. Similar rates of engagement were evident across session type for the remaining behaviors, the majority of which were low prevalence (reported by <15%). Regression modeling indicated that risk-taking in AmED sessions was primarily associated with risk-taking in alcohol sessions, with increased average energy drink (ED) intake associated with certain risk behaviors (e.g., being physically hurt, not using contraception, and driving while over the legal alcohol limit). Bivariate analyses from a matched-frequency sample align with past research showing lower odds of risk-taking behavior after AmED versus alcohol consumption for the same individuals. Multivariate analyses showed that risk-taking in alcohol sessions had the strongest association with risk-taking in AmED sessions. However, hypotheses of increased risk-taking post-AmED consumption were partly supported: Greater ED intake was associated with increased likelihood of specific behaviors, including drink-driving, sexual behavior, and aggressive behaviors in the matched-frequency sample after controlling for alcohol intake and risk-taking in alcohol sessions. These findings highlight the need to consider both personal characteristics and beverage effects in harm reduction strategies for AmED consumers. Copyright © 2015 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
    • "In general, research has found AmED more prevalent among males, Whites, athletes, fraternity or sorority members and younger students (O'Brien et al., 2008). College students who consume AmED tend to drink alcohol in a larger quantity and more frequently than students who do not mix alcohol with energy drinks, and this behavior has also been associated with an increased risk of experiencing alcohol-related consequences (Brache & Stockwell, 2011; O&apos;Brien et al., 2008; Thombs et al., 2010). "

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