According to a recent study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, teenagers that consume caffeine-packed energy drinks are more inclined to use drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.
Researchers studied 22,000 grade 8, 10, and 12 students. 30% of those surveyed indicated that they drank high-caffeine energy shots or drinks, 40% drank soft drinks on a daily basis, and 20% drank diet soda on a daily basis. The researchers found that those teens who consumed energy drinks or shots were 2-3 times more likely to disclose recent drug, alcohol, or cigarette use. Those teens who did not consume energy drinks were less likely to engage in drug using, underage drinking, or smoking.
Surprisingly, eighth grade students consumed energy drinks more than the older students surveyed, along with boys, teens without two parents at home, and participants whose parents had lower education levels. Although the study did find a connection between soda consumption and use of drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes, the link was not as strong as the connection between consumption of energy drinks and substance use.
As the researchers note, their findings suggest that teen energy drink consumers are more inclined for substance use, perhaps because certain personality traits, such as risk-taking, attract them to both high-caffeine drinks and illegal substances. While a teen’s consumption of energy drinks does not guarantee their use of drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes, parents should be aware of their heightened risk. Drug and alcohol testing from ARCpoint Labs can help you better monitor your teenager’s behaviors.