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.

6 comments

  • Sam

    Like everything else, for normal healthy people, one energy drink shouldn't be a problem. The problem lies in the students who use them as a substitute for food and sleep. I've talked to students who have skipped lunch (and they probably didn't eat breakfast either) and just grabbed an energy drink for lunch. Then they wonder why they fell like cr*p in their mid-afternoon class.

    The other issue is, they can trigger panic attacks in some people. This can account for some of the hospital visits because, if you are having a panic attack, you feel like you're having a heart attack.

    Finally, there is NO reason that children should be drinking these.

  • bt94

    I remember having to drink these in high school due to the amount of AP classes I had and having to work at the same time. If they want kids to stop drinking energy drinks they should look at the amount of time we DON'T have in a day to complete all the tasks we're asked to complete. You can't expect a kid that gets off from work at 9 or 10 at night, finish his/her homework at 2 or 3 in the morning and still be energetic for the rest of the day.

    • HummingBull

      My son has 3 AP classes. He does not have a job. He has made sacrifices to pursue the things he wants in life. We are supportive in this.

      There are limits to what a person can do. If you choose to both have a job and AP courses with … Energy enhancements…. Well that will have a cost too…

    • Paul

      This is a symptomatic problem in higher education and working life, Americans of all social and ethnic demographics are being over worked and stressed out by the 1% who prosper from increased profits and take their long vacations while their work forces work long hours for little money and no holiday time, even the Chinese get more Holidays and the German economy functions just fine while their workforce benefits from five to six weeks of vacation a year.
      Nicotine, alcohol and over caffeinated beverages are a short term solution for over worked people that's leading to extensive health problems in the US.

  • HummingBull

    Adderall + Red Bull? You simply cannot regulate stupid.

    Perhaps we should just remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out Darwin-Style…

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