In 2007, the number of ER visits attributed to energy drinks was over 10,000. By 2011 this number had more than doubled to over 21,000.
Over the course of the last several years energy drinks such as Red Bull and Monster have increased in popularity to the point that nearly every gas station, drug store, and grocery store across the country carries them. Especially popular amongst the younger crowd, individuals have been known to consume upwards of three or four cans in the short span of a few hours.
Although these drinks do increase energy, they also have potentially harmful side effects. The main ingredient in the energy drink (which causes the worst side effects) is the over load of caffeine. To put into perspective just how much caffeine an energy drink can pack, consider this: one glass of coffee has about 100mg of caffeine; a can of soda has 50mg of caffeine. A single can or bottle of energy drink can have anywhere in between 80mg to 500mg. The high amounts of caffeine can cause significant effects on the body. Blood pressure and heart rate both rise, with the consumption of just one can of these drinks. For those with existing or underlying heart problems this can be especially hazardous. Ultimately, for those who have heart complications this can lead to heart attack or failure which could lead to death.
However, more than just individuals with pre existing heart complications, energy drinks have sent thousands of others to the ER just the same. Over consumption of energy drinks can lead to symptoms such as insomnia, nervousness, headaches, irregular or fast heart beats, to seizures. As these drinks are most popular amongst the younger bracket of the population it is often the case that the drinks are abused. While drinking one can has the potential to cause these side effects, it is very common for individuals to drink multiple cans in one setting.
In 2007, the number of ER visits attributed to energy drinks was over 10,000. By 2011 this number had more than doubled to over 21,000. This number was of ER admissions due to energy drinks alone. An additional 42% can be added in 2011 for ER visits due to energy drinks in conjunction with drugs or alcohol.
Considering the combination of drugs or alcohol with energy drinks brings the focus to another side of danger associated with these beverages. A very common alcoholic cocktail includes mixing rum, vodka or another type of alcohol with an energy drink. The two substances mixed together can put extreme stress on the body, as energy drinks work as a stimulant and alcohol as a depressant. The mixed signals received in the body can create an empowered intoxication, which puts users at higher risk of drinking more than they are able to safely handle, (clouding judgment and leading seizure or heart attack).
A report done on drugs in combination with energy drinks found that prescription pills were the most common drugs to pair with energy drinks. Drugs fall into two categories: stimulants and depressants. As mentioned above combining an energy drink with a depressant-like substance can lead to serious complications. When energy drinks are combined with œstimulant drugs such as cocaine, the risk for heart attack and seizure more than triple.
When a person suffers from a severe case of drug or alcohol addiction, the best method of treatment is seeking professional help at an addiction treatment facility. Licensed therapists and counselors at Florida Center for Recovery are trained to conduct effective treatment for various kinds of addictions, as well as mental health issues and those suffering from psychological distress.
For additional information on drug abuse and addiction treatment services, you may reach us at:
Florida Center for Recovery “ Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-960-5041
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