Energy Drinks and Addiction

In recent years, the consumption of energy drinks has been off the charts. It has turned into a multi-billion dollar business, and the fad doesn’t seem to be fading. If you hang around the newly sober, it’s likely the majority will have a can of some fruity-flavored caffeine-injected concoction in one hand, and a vape or cigarette in the other. Most people know that caffeine is addictive; what most people don’t know, is that energy drinks may predispose young adults to drug and alcohol addiction.

This may come as a surprise, but researchers at the University of Maryland published a study in the June 2017 Journal of Addiction Medicine, that found young adults who regularly consumed energy drinks were significantly more likely to use drugs and alcohol. In particular, those students who drank the same amount or increased the amount of energy drinks over the study’s five-year period, had a higher rate of cocaine use, prescription stimulant abuse, and alcoholism. Because of this, researchers are suggesting that energy drinks could quite possibly be a gateway drug to more serious addictions. This could potentially be a big issue for our culture, and it begs the question of whether the rise in addiction and overdose deaths have any commonality with the popularity of these drinks.

It’s not uncommon to see age groups of all kinds, particularly teenagers and young adults, consuming massive quantities of these beverages. Not to mention, several of the companies behind them are alcohol giants—who, let’s be honest, couldn’t care less about addiction and alcoholism. Some who work in the treatment industry, and do care about addiction, believe there may be a connection between energy drinks and relapse in individuals who are in recovery. Caffeine and other stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine target the same areas of the brain, so if an addict in recovery is continually targeting those areas with caffeine, there could be a potential relapse problem. Why? Because the addict brain always wants more.




If you or a loved one cannot stop drinking or using, call The Lakehouse Recovery Center. There is so much more to life than living your days wholly controlled by drugs or alcohol. Your life can change, and we can help you make that change. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at (877) 762-3707. Recovery is possible. Call now.


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