Mixing Energy Drinks and Alcohol Perpetuates Risk-Taking Behavior

College is a time of experimentation, but there are some things you don’t need to try for yourself to know they’re dangerous. As parents drop their kids off at the dorms this fall, they need to be aware of a new trend that could put them at risk. Mixing energy drinks and alcohol – both staples of college life for many students – can lead to risky sex, according to a new study conducted by the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Coeds who consumed highly-caffeinated energy drinks such as Four Loko or Red Bull and mixed them with alcohol were more likely to report they were intoxicated during their last sexual encounter, the research finds. Of course, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since previous studies already showed a correlation between energy drink consumption and other unsafe behaviors like driving under the influence and binge drinking.

Since the dawn of time, students have been looking for ways to stay awake in order to fit it all in—classes, studying, work, socializing and partying. They have guzzled coffee, taken stimulants and relied on cold showers. Energy drinks are just the latest in a long line of questionable practices undertaken by a young population that feels invincible and not often worried about health risks.

While parents may not be able to prevent the use of energy drinks and alcohol, making your young scholar aware of the risks and dangers can go a long way. Fortunately, back-to-school time is a perfect excuse to raise the issue.

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