SAMHSA: Energy Drink-Related Emergency Visits Up in U.S.

In about half of visits by 18- to 25-year-olds, energy drinks are combined with alcohol, drugs

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department visits involving energy drinks increased approximately 10-fold between 2005 and 2009, according to a report published online Nov. 22 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The authors, from SAMHSA in Rockville, Md., investigated trends in emergency department visits for energy drinks from 2005 to 2009, and described the characteristics associated with these visits.

The researchers report that the number of emergency department visits involving energy drinks increased about 10-fold between 2005 and 2009, from 1,128 visits in 2005 to 16,053 and 13,114 visits in 2008 and 2009, respectively. A total of 52 percent of energy drink-related emergency department visits made by individuals aged 18 to 25 also involved alcohol or other drugs. Males made more emergency department visits involving energy drinks than females (64 versus 36 percent). Compared with emergency department visits by females, visits by males were more likely to involve alcohol (20 versus 10 percent) or illicit drugs (12 versus 5 percent), in addition to energy drinks. Emergency department visits by females were more likely to involve energy drinks in combination with pharmaceuticals (35 versus 23 percent). Emergency department visits involving energy drinks were classified as adverse reactions in 67 percent of cases.

"Public awareness campaigns focusing on the health effects of consumption of energy drinks are needed to educate the public about the potential risks associated with consumption, alone and in combination with alcohol and/or pharmaceuticals," the authors write.

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