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Energy drinks fuel alcohol addiction.

ENERGY drinks that fuel preexam cramming, late- night parties and high- voltage basketball matches might actually promote alcohol dependence among teenagers, new research shows.

Individuals who consumed more energy drinks were more likely to get drunk at an earlier age, drink more per session, and were more likely to develop alcohol dependence, the study found.

Energy drinks are caffeinepacked and earlier studies have probed what happens when they are mixed with alcohol. They can lead to " wide- awake drunkenness", where caffeine masks the feeling of drunkenness making people drink more and even drive. The study will be published in the February 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research . " We were able to examine if energy drink use was associated with alcohol dependence, after controlling for risk- taking characteristics," Amelia M. Arria of University of Maryland School of public health, who did the study, said.

Experts at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences say it may not be the contents that influence addiction but what's between one's ears. Ongoing research at the institute covers different forms of abuse and addiction.

" The susceptibility or vulnerability to abuse or addiction is probably not so much a function of the drug concerned.

Rather it is a function of pre- existing brain function," Dr Vivek Benegal, additional professor of psychiatry at the institute, said.

" People who are highly vulnerable to one drug are also vulnerable to another drug," he added.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Nov 18, 2010
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