On October 24th, 2013, Health Canada organized a day of reflection devoted to the problem of co-consumption of energy drinks and alcohol. Stakeholders from all walks of life were present, in order to think about the education and awareness to the problem of mixing alcohol and energy drinks.

Everyone drinks them!

Easy now, maybe not everyone. But a good third (34%) of people 18-34 drink energy drinks regularly. They say it gives them a boost and helps them stay awake. People drink them here, there and everywhere, often at parties and raves, in bars and at clubs. And when people go to a club to dance and party, they don’t want to stay for half an hour, they want to keep going all night. Energy drinks help them achieve that goal.

Apparently, it’s not all that unusual for people to add alcohol to their energy drinks. According to one Italian study, nearly half (48.5%) of those who drink energy drinks combine them with alcohol.

Why is it so dangerous to drink too much of an energy drink/ alcohol mix?

Young people tend to take more risks and behave more dangerously than adults. Under the influence of alcohol, they can feel all-powerful and invulnerable, which makes them even more likely to engage in riskier behaviour. And that sense of power and invulnerability can be further exaggerated when alcohol is combined with energy drinks.

A variety of studies have found that, given young people’s predilection for risk-taking, they are more likely to:

  • be involved in road accidents;
  • engage in unprotected, unplanned and or unwanted sex;
  • behave violently or suffer from the violence of others;
  • attempt suicide.