Youth are sent to school to learn the three R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic; among a few other things. An Australian study recently reported on a new equation popular among young people there (and here): A+ED. A+ED is a combination of alcohol plus an energy drink. And it’s one of those things parents would prefer their kids not learn.
More Than One-Fifth Of Young Drinkers Mixing In Energy Drinks
The large-scale study involved face-to-face interviews with clientele in popular nightlife areas of five cities there. Researchers learned that roughly 15 percent of clubbers had downed a mix of alcohol plus an energy drink the very night they were being interviewed. These people also had notably higher BAC (blood alcohol content) levels compared to patrons who had not consumed the combination.
Now a group of researchers from Deakin University School of Psychology and the University of Tasmania have looked into why young people choose to drink the combo and what happens to those who do. The team enlisted 594 college students to fill out an online survey in 2012. The survey was anonymous. There were 395 women respondents and 199 men with a mean age of 22.3 years.
Why Do Students Drink Alcohol Mixed With Energy Drinks?
Investigators looked particularly at responses from students who reported drinking A+ED sometime in the last three months. They then used a 14-point measure to assess why young people decided to drink the mix. They identified four motivations:
- Energy and endurance – drinking the mix helped them stay alert and drink longer.
- Hedonism – they enjoyed the taste and liked the buzz it gave them.
- Intoxication reduction – the belief that adding in a caffeine-loaded energy drink would help them sober up.
- Social – it’s what the rest of the group was doing at the time.
Negative Outcomes Of A+ED
In at least two instances, researchers found that consuming A+ED led to greater risks than normal. For example, youth who drank because of hedonistic motivations faced a higher risk of:
A. Consuming larger amounts of alcohol
B. Becoming alcohol dependent
C. Experiencing an accident, injury or aggression while inebriated
For those who drank A+ED in an attempt to undo a drunk more quickly, there was also a greater chance that the person would experience alcohol-linked harm or injury. And, the premise is entirely mistaken. Caffeine does not erase the effects of alcohol. It won’t help a person to get sober quickly.
Read Our Other Posts On Teenage Risky Behaviors And Substance Abuse