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Energy drinks and alcohol: Not worth the risk

Many people enjoy going out and having a drink or two with friends or colleagues. In most cases, they spend time together, then leave and arrive home safely. However, sometimes, people make the decision to get behind the wheel when they shouldn't. They might cause a drunk-driving collision or you to be pulled over and arrested for driving dangerously.

There are certain actions that increase the risk of this happening including combining alcohol and caffeine. When you combine alcohol and caffeine, caffeine can mask the effects of alcohol. You might think you're alert and ready to drive, but the reality could be that you're still very much intoxicated.

Mixing caffeine and alcohol is a dangerous game

Mixing caffeine and alcohol is a hazard to your health and the health of those around you. Caffeine doesn't affect how quickly your liver metabolizes alcohol, even if it makes you feel as if you're more alert. That means that you may still be just as intoxicated as you would be without caffeine, but you also have a false sense of your own abilities.

Mixing energy drinks and alcohol is particularly common among young people in the United States. Around 31.8 percent of young adults between 19 and 28 admitted to consuming these types of mixed drinks at least once in the last year, based on a 2017 study. Additionally, those who binge drink are more likely to mix alcohol with energy drinks, according to a study that monitored drinking among Michigan's high school students.

Another interesting fact is that drinkers between 15 and 23 who chose to mix energy drinks and alcohol were up to four times more likely to binge drink than those who didn't choose to mix their drinks. This could be a result of the masking effects of the caffeine, which makes individuals believe they're less intoxicated than they are.

In the 2000s, it was easy to find caffeinated alcoholic beverages, abbreviated as CABs. However, in 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned them and warned seven manufacturers that they could no longer place their drinks on the market. The manufacturers went on to remove caffeine and stimulants from these drinks.

As you can see, mixing drinks with caffeine is a danger to yourself and others. It's a good idea to avoid doing so, but if you intend to do so, make plans to get home safely and avoid driving.

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