Local News

Study: ER Visits Linked to Energy Drinks Double

LOS ANGELES — A new government study finds that emergency room visits linked to energy drinks are on the rise, calling it “a rising public health problem.”

The study was from a survey of U.S. hospitals by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

It found that the number of ERenergy-drinks visits involving energy drinks doubled from 10,000 to 20,000 between 2007 and 2011.

Among the symptoms experienced were severe insomnia, nervousness, headache, fast heartbeat and seizures.

People between the ages of 18 and 25 were the most common age group seeking emergency treatment for energy-drink related reactions.

In 42 percent of the cases, patients had mixed the energy drink with another stimulant, such as Adderall or Ritalin, or with alcohol.

Fifty-eight percent of the patients had consumed just the energy drink.

The American Beverage Association denounced the findings, saying the study make it impossible to understand the actual role of energy drinks in the hospital visits.

The findings come at the same time that energy drinks have soared in popularity and availability.

In 2011, sales for energy drinks went up by nearly 17 percent. The three top companies — Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar — each saw double-digit gains.