Caffeine + Alcohol = Enough to Blow Your Lid

Report culls studies that look at effects of caffeinated-alcoholic beverages

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) There is no evidence that young people have decreased the practice of combining alcohol and energy drinks in spite of multiple state bans on caffeinated-alcoholic beverages (CABs).

"CABs may increase alcohol-related risks in a number of different domains, but have been subject to very little systematic research," said Jonathan Howland, PhD, Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston University.

A recent article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looks at the scope of the public health problem and suggests areas of research. The article culls 44 references gathered from newspapers, magazines and scientific literature outlining the current understanding of the effects of stimulants combined with alcohol.

One study found that bar patrons who drank CABs were three times more likely to leave the bar intoxicated and four times more likely to intend on driving afterward. Another of the studies determined students who consumed CABs were twice as likely to experience or commit sexual assault, ride with an intoxicated driver, require medical treatment and/or have an alcohol-related accident.

The FDA issued warning letters on November 17 to four makers of CABs indicating further action, including seizure of their products, is possible under federal law. For more on the FDA action, read our story FDA Not Joosed on Four Loko & Friends

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 30, 2010
Last Updated:
December 1, 2010