Thursday 23 January 2020

Dangers of being 'wide awake and drunk'

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Mixing alcohol with energy drinks is common among young people in this country, but a new study has pointed to the hazards of combining the two.

Those who drink the alcoholic energy-drink combos are three times more likely than alcohol-only drinkers to leave a pub drunk.

This combination can trick the brain, making people think they're sober when they are not.

The study involved interviewing 800 people leaving bars in a college partying area between 10pm and 3am.

Those who combined alcohol and energy drinks drank for longer periods. They also left bars later than those who drank alcohol only. The problem is that they misjudge their capabilities, as caffeine reduces drowsiness.

This condition is described as "wide awake and drunk".

Stimulants aggravate intoxication. The study, in the journal Addictive Behaviours, notes that the market for high caffeine content energy drinks has grown exponentially since the 1990s.

Fatigue is the body's way of saying it's had enough, and it is dangerous to fool yourself that you're not as drunk as you are.

Previous research showed that high caffeine levels can boost heart rate, causing palpitations. Mixing these drinks with alcohol further increases the risk of heart-rhythm problems.

Irish Independent

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