Alcohol and Energy Drinks
Youth and young adults are at the greatest risk of harm from consuming caffeinated alcoholic beverages because they drink them at levels four times higher than the general public. Young adults in university prefer hand-mixed over pre-mixed caffeinated alcoholic beverages, putting them at greater risk of dangerous side effects because hand-mixed varieties typically contain more caffeine than pre-mixed caffeinated alcoholic beverages; and consume more caffeinated alcoholic beverages than other young adults.
Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks
- Energy drinks are beverages that typically contain caffeine, other plant-based stimulants, simple sugars, and other additives. They are very popular among young people.
- When alcoholic beverages are mixed with energy drinks, the caffeine in these drinks can mask the depressant effects of alcohol. At the same time, caffeine has no effect on the metabolism of alcohol by the liver and thus does not reduce breath alcohol concentrations or reduce the risk of alcohol-attributable harms.
- Drinkers who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks are 3 times more likely to binge drink (based on breath alcohol levels) than drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks.
- Drinkers who consume alcohol with energy drinks are about twice as likely as drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks to report being taken advantage of sexually, to report taking advantage of someone else sexually, and to report riding with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Alcohol and Drugs
Drinking alcohol and taking drugs increases the effects of all of the drugs in your body. This is really dangerous and potentially fatal because you have no idea how you might react to this mix. Death may occur when moderate amounts of alcohol are combined with other depressant drugs such as sleeping pills and tranquilizers. Even small amounts of alcohol when taken together with these or other drugs, such as antidepressants, cannabis (weed), or antihistamines (in cold, cough and allergy medications), can seriously impair your ability to drive a car or even walk properly.
Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Drugs
- Combining alcohol with another downer like Xanax or painkillers like Vicodin can slow your heartbeat and breathing and may lead to death.
- Mixing alcohol with uppers like Adderall or club drugs like Ecstasy can cause heart problems, too, as well as strokes and convulsions.
- Cough and cold medicines that don’t need a prescription can mess you up if you abuse them or combine them with alcohol—once again, heart problems and trouble breathing.
Signs of an Overdose
If you are using drugs, or are with someone who has used drugs, and you or they have any of these symptoms call 9-1-1 immediately.
The following syptoms are signs of an overdose:
- Breathing is slow or not breathing at all
- Nails and/or lips are blue
- Choking or throwing up
- Making gurgling sounds
- Skin is cold and clammy
- Can't wake them up