Energy Drink Dangers


Emergency room visits related to energy drinks are on the rise.

Energy drinks have drawn attention and scrutiny since first appearing on American store shelves, and a new government study is calling these popular beverages, “a rising public health problem.”

The study consisted of a survey of US hospitals conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and what they found was alarming. The number of emergency room visits linked to energy drinks had doubled in four years, jumping from 10,000 in 2007 to 20,000 in 2011.

It’s not just energy drinks that are the problem. Of the 20,000 ER visits in 2011, 42 percent of those had mixed the energy drink with another stimulant such as Adderall or Ritalin or with alcohol.

Just how are these drinks causing problems? Energy drinks raise blood pressure and heart rate. This can lead to the heart racing or skipping beats, and these irregular heart symptoms can bring on panic attacks. These energy drinks also contain some substances that are unregulated and can add to the stimulant nature of the drink without the consumer being aware.

The American Beverage Association, the industry trade association that regulates these drinks, was quick to come to their defense. The organization told ABC News that the drinks were safe and denounced the hospital study, saying the limited information makes it, “impossible to understand the actual role — if any — of energy drinks in these hospital visits.”

Energy drink fans are also quick to point out that energy drinks contain about half the caffeine of a comparatively-sized cup of coffee. Meanwhile the Food and Drug Administration is looking into this new study.

Drug Abuse Help at The Canyon

If you are combining energy drinks with stimulants or other drugs, call The Canyon and put an end substance abuse. We are here 24 hours a day, so please call now to learn more about your options.

Wendy Lee Nentwig

By Wendy Lee Nentwig
Guest Contributor

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