September 23, 2018

Drug Abuse Warning Network Warns About Energy Drinks

A new report called an update on Emergency Department Visits Involving Energy Drinks questions the safety of those products. It is pubished in The DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) for January 10, 2013.

Highly Concentrated Caffeine ProductsThe report states that emergency room visits that were related to energy drink use doubled from 10,068 in 2007 to 20,783 in 2011. Forty-two percent of the patients treated in 2011 said they consumed a combination of energy drinks and either alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications. That means that 58% of the emergency room visits were linked to energy drink consumption alone.

Last october, Monster Beverages was sued┬áby the family of a 14 year old Maryland girl who died after developing a heart arrhythmia. She drank cans of Monster Energy that is very high in caffeine. The FDA is investigating claims about illnesses and death that are associated with the consumption of these products. The drinks are marketed to appeal to youths, according to the report. The ads promoting these products suggest “benefits such as increased energy and stamina, weight loss, and enhanced physical and mental performance.”

Excessive caffeine intake can cause serious medical and behavioral consequences, especially for children, adolescents, and young adults. Among college students, there are links between “energy drink consumption and problematic behaviors such as marijuana use, sexual risk taking, fighting, smoking, drinking, and prescription drug abuse,” according to the report.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has discouraged the use of energy drinks for children of all ages, and a joint study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Institute of Medicine has recommended that all beverages that are available for purchase by students in schools be caffeine free. The report states that health professionals should discourage use of these drinks, and to enquire about energy drink use when assessing their patient’s use of medications or other drugs.

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