Researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York surveyed 800 college undergraduates for their study. The ones who consumed energy drinks were three times more likely to smoke, abuse drugs, and become physically violent.
More than two-thirds mixed the highly caffeinated energy beverages with alcohol, falsely believing that caffeine counteracts the numbing effect of alcohol.
The researchers speculated that the drinks themselves contribute to the self-destructive behaviors by chemically altering the body.
"Young people's bodies are physiologically not matured yet, so this kind of stuff has a greater impact on them than it does on adults," said Bernie Storms, director of the Family Guidance Center for Behavioral Healthcare addiction treatment services. "Also, when someone comes down off of alcohol and caffeine at the same time, they are not going to feel very well at all."
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