Energy Drinks and Alcohol: Deadly Combination

Posted by Drug Free in Alcohol Abuse on July 24th, 2012

The number of ER admissions for energy drinks intoxication has increased for the last few years.

Dr. Darria Gillespie, an ER doctor for the Beth Israel Deaconess- Milton Hospital has had numerous experiences with patients intoxicated by mixtures of alcohol and energy drinks. Late teen girls are usually the victims of the dangerous combination. When the caffeine in the energy drinks wore off, the high levels of alcohol come in, and intoxication can lead to untimely deaths.


For ER doctors at other South Shore hospitals, such cases have been happening more often than expected, which has made brands like Red Bull, Monster, and 5 Hour Energy more popular than ever.

The energy drinks industry is said to reach values of about $7 billion mainly due to the beverages being introduced as energy boosters and sports supplements. These products too have made their mark in other fields such as car racing, sports, and pop culture.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program has become concerned by how these brands have influenced the lives of young people mostly in their 20’s and early 30’s. With attractive marketing strategies, the combination of energy drinks and alcohol has increased their popularity among the said age group.

Records show that from cases of ER visits linked to being under the influence of alcohol and other drinks, 56% of them manifest signs of excessive intake of energy drinks and 44% have symptoms of being affected by the mixture of alcohol and energy drinks.

Dr. Jason Tracy from the South Shore Hospital in Weymouth clarified that symptoms of alcohol and energy drink intoxication include anxiety, excessive sweating, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure. These conditions can pave the way for fatal heart attacks.