There are repercussions to introducing high-caffeine energy drinks into the body of a growing adolescent, and there are dangers in consuming alcohol at that age, but doing both at the same time can have dire effects. Scientists have found that teenagers who drink energy drinks and alcohol can have their neurochemistry affected as if they had been doing cocaine.
According to a new study from researchers at Purdue University, the mixture “has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine.”
Two groups of mice were given cocaine and caffeine mixed with alcohol, respectively. After the doses, it was found that the mice not only behaved similarly, but also suffered similar permanent brain damage.
Dr. Richard van Rijn, one of the authors of the study, told the Sun, “It seems the two substances (high energy drinks and alcohol) together push them over a limit that causes changes in their behavior and changes the neurochemistry in their brains.”
To illustrate the effects even further, it was found that mice given the alcohol + caffeine solution showed “a slight tolerance to cocaine in their adult years.”
One thing the study didn’t look into which is just as prevalent at some electronic shows is mixing alcohol and caffeine with cocaine use – such a stimulant overload combined with a depressant can’t be healthy over long periods, and yet it’s all too common at clubs.
More research is obviously required on these findings, as well as replication studies, but the initial results are frightening.