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Alcohol and Energy Drinks: Alcohol Detox Still The Solution
The practice of mixing high-caffeine stimulant energy drinks with alcohol is in the news again. Apparently, thousands of Americans are still mixing the two substances, even though established medical science has shown it’s a recipe for disaster.
It seems these people didn’t get the memo in November, 2010, when the Food and Drug Administration banned ready-made alcoholic beverages with added stimulants, after a year-long review of scientific literature showed it was just plain dangerous.
While the alcohol impairs performance and decision-making, the caffeine masks the impairment.
The result? People jump behind the wheel of their car or truck and speed off, convinced they’re stone cold sober. In fact, they’re just plain stoned.
Fortunately, some consumers of these concoctions manage to avoid calamity and tragedy. But a significant number wind up suffering from alcohol dependence that can only be helped with a medical alcohol detox program. Others, who have passed through abuse to dependence to arrive at alcoholism, need to treat their alcohol addiction with a medical alcohol detox, followed by a long-term alcohol rehab program.
Energy drinks are themselves addictive, and can camouflage alcoholism
Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, is the serious, life-threatening condition that often follows long-untreated alcohol abuse. In some sensitive individuals, or people with personal problems that alcohol seems to alleviate, alcoholism can happen very quickly.
Either way, alcohol addiction can be difficult to see coming, under the best of such unfortunate circumstances. Victims play down their increasing need for alcohol, and deny their problem to others as well as themselves. But deep down, they often know they need alcohol detox.
Remember the old standby drink, rum and Coke? Caffeine and liquor together isn’t new. But energy drinks contain at least three times the amount of caffeine as cola. That’s three times as much “speed” masking what’s really going on — alcohol dependence, alcoholism — but also a craving for the blast from stimulants in the energy drink.
Energy drinks usually include other ingredients as well as caffeine to add more “punch” — B vitamins, guarana, yerba mate, acai, taurine, various forms of ginseng, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine, glucuronolactone (a form of sugar) and ginkgo biloba are just some of them.
Because stimulating energy drinks suppress awareness of the effects of alcohol, charging the person up with misguided get-up-and-go, habitual drinkers of energy drinks mixed with booze have more trouble seeing the alcohol dependence and alcohol addiction coming.
Along with increased risky behavior, the increased risk of alcoholism is a major problem with mixing energy drinks and alcohol. The FDA didn’t outlaw the ready-made concoctions for nothing.
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