This just in: Red Bull and vodka is a bad idea

The online news media is reporting that students who drink energy drink cocktails are more likely to mess themselves up than people who just drink regular old booze. Given the things that people manage to do when trashed exclusively on the sauce, this is some unfortunate news.

Some researchers in the States (Wake Forest University in North Carolina) carried out a web-based survey of 4,721 students. About a quarter of those who took the survey reported mixing an energy drink with their booze within the past 30 days. These special folks were found to be more likely to injure themselves, require medical assistance (read: alcohol poisoning), or get raped/rape someone. Party time!

Energy drinks generally contain high levels of some sort of stimulant. Usually it's a methyxanthine, like caffeine or theobromine. Other ingredients of pharmacological interest include natural products, which are often either herbs such as ginseng or ginkgo or royal jelly that are usually present in insufficient levels to actually produce any sort of medicinal effect, or else are just plants that contain caffeine (e.g. guarana) so as to disguise its presence in the product.

One big problem with energy drink cocktails is that the effects of the stimulant(s) in the energy drink masks feelings of drunkenness, so you don't feel as loaded as you actually are. This can lead to you do stupid things. Additionally, both methylxanthines (caffeine) and alcohol are diuretics. Dosing yourself with both drugs can lead to intensive dehydration, potentially causing cardiovascular problems such as hypotension and tachycardia. Not to mention the worst hangover known to man.

The goal of drug rehabilitation centers is to help individuals achieve and maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol through a drug treatment program. With California drug rehab, people find a sense of self worth and begin to learn to manage the stresses of an active life without drug and alcohol abuse.

Ferreira SE et al. Effects of energy drink ingestion on alcohol intoxication. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2006 Apr;30(4):598-605.

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