Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages Cause Severe Health Complications for Students
Yesterday I went to the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine to celebrate the end of midterms. While I was browsing the aisles, I saw a big aluminum can that looked a lot like an energy drink. Upon further examination, I realized it was an energy drink that also contains 12 percent alcohol. The idea of this combination didn’t appeal to me, and evidently that’s a really good thing.
These new high alcohol, high caffeine drinks are causing some serious health effects for young people. Recently, a 19-year old man arrived at the emergency room of Temple University Hospital. He was suffering a heart attack, something that is highly unexpected for someone his age. After much questioning, he admitted that he’d been drinking these alcoholic energy drinks and it was because of these drinks that he had a heart attack.
“This is a dangerous product from what we’ve see,” said Dr. McNamara, head of the department of emergency medicine. “It doesn’t have to be chronic use. I think it could happen to somebody on a first time use.”
These energy drinks do allow students to get drunk more quickly than other alcoholic beverages because of the added caffeine. Users are also less likely to be able to tell they are drunk because of the stimulant effects of the caffeine.
“They can’t tell that they’re drunk,” said Dr. Mary Claire O’Brien of Wake Forest University. “What this behavior gets is a wide awake drunk.”
Daniel Patterson is a student at the University of Florida who has tried Four Loko, one of these alcoholic energy drinks.
“I pretty much went into my inebriation without really realizing it,” Patterson said. “I was talking a lot, being loud, yet I also felt very alert and sober as it the drink was doing nothing to me.”
It is this feeling of being in control of their level of inebriation that can cause drinkers to drink more alcohol that they should consume, which can lead to health complications.
If you are planning to drink alcohol, follow these tips for not getting too drunk. It might be a good idea to avoid these drinks until more knowledge is gained about the possible side effects they can cause. And as always, use moderation when you are drinking.
Via ABC News
UPDATE [11/11/10]: Alcoholic energy drinks have now been banned in Michigan, Oklahoma and Washington due to its concerning health affects.
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