JOPLIN, MO.--- Studies suggest blending energy drinks with alcohol may lead to more negative social and medical consequences. Premixed alcohol energy drinks were banned by the Food and Drug Administration two years ago. That doesn't stop individuals from mixing their own beverages.
"What we are looking at now are what are the consequences of that behavior," said Del Camp, Ozark Center Vice President of Clinical Operations.
Del Camp is the vice president of clinical operations at the Ozarks Center in Joplin. He says research from Penn State University suggest that mixing alcohol and energy drinks may lead to dangerous behavior.
"Most of the symptoms from intoxication are sedation. It tries to put you to sleep. Well, if you're trying to take something to put you to sleep and then trying to take something to wake you up, you're going to assume that alcohol is having less of an effect on you than it is," said Camp.
He says because many people don't realize how drunk they're getting, a person is twice as likely to take greater risks than just drinking alcohol alone.
"So you will think to yourself, 'oh I feel like I've had one beer, so I should be good to drive. I should be good to pick my partner for the night. I should be good to make decision about money right now,' not so much," said Camp.
Not only could the mixture put drinkers in a socially dangerous position, it may also be setting them up for a bad habit.
"It both relaxes you and it stimulates you at the same time. Those are things that we all really want, we want to have the energize but at the same time feeling very relaxed. The only other substance that we know that does that is nicotine," said Camp.
He adds energy drinks will eventually wear off sooner than alcohol, hitting your body all at once, which can create more dangerous medical problems. Counselors say if you or someone else shows signs of addictive behavior they should seek counseling.
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