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Energy drinks linked to substance use in musicians, study shows
Date:6/20/2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Frequent use of energy drinks is associated with binge drinking, alcohol-related social problems and misuse of prescription drugs among musicians, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions.

In survey results published in the Journal of Caffeine Research this spring, UB research scientists Kathleen E. Miller and Brian M. Quigley examined substance use by 226 Western New York professional and amateur musicians aged 18-45. In the sample, 94 percent were caffeine users and 57 percent reported use of energy drinks specifically.

Sixty-eight percent of the musicians surveyed reported heavy binge drinking at least once or twice a year and 74 percent reported experiencing at least one alcohol-related social problem, such as hangovers, arguing with others about their drinking, or doing something while drinking that they later regretted. Most of those surveyed also reported recreational drug use, including prescription drugs (23 percent), marijuana (52 percent), psychedelic drugs (25 percent), or cocaine (21 percent).

Musicians who used energy drinks reported significantly more misuse of legal substances than those who did not use energy drinks. For example, 31 percent of energy drink users misused prescription drugs (compared to 13 percent of nonusers) and 76 percent reported binge drinking (compared to 59 percent of nonusers).

Consistent with previous studies of athletes and college students, this study suggests that the unique relationships between energy drink consumption and other substance use represent more than merely a repackaging of the U.S. public's longstanding love affairs with coffee and soft drinks. "No question, we've got quite a caffeine habit," observes Miller. "But energy drinks bring something more to the equation."

Manufacturers of popular energy drink brands appear to target actual or aspiring musicians as a niche market for their pr
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Contact: Kathleen Weaver
weaver@ria.buffalo.edu
716-887-2585
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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