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Study suggests link between energy drinks and drug use

Energy drinks and drug use

A new study suggests a possible link between energy drinks, and a teen’s attitude towards drugs.

"We're talking about cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana,” said Dr. Dylan Jackson from UTSA. “As well as powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin.”

Dr. Jackson, and a team of professionals, have been researching adolescent energy drink consumption for years.

The project involved thousands of 8th and 10th graders nationwide. Researchers gathered data on the topic from 2010 to 2016.

"Are energy drinks drugs?” we asked Dr. Jackson. “I think you could definitely classify them that way,” Dr. Jackson replied.

The study found that kids who drink more than 1 energy drink per day are 125 percent more likely to “fail to perceive any risk in trying to consume cocaine, when compared to their peers.” In addition, they were “143 percent more likely to fail to perceive any risk in trying heroin.”

"We need to understand that even if we don't classify energy drinks as drugs, it's not completely divorced from the concept of addiction,” said Dr. Jackson.

We met with a couple of parents on Wednesday. They tell us, they don’t allow their children to have energy drinks.

“You have to watch what they get into, and what they drink” said one woman. “Water, or just regular green tea.”

A pattern this study suggests could prevent drug usage from children later in life.

"This needs to become part of the substance abuse education and curriculum,” said Dr. Jackson.

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