Alcohol and Caffeine: What’s the buzz?

While coffee-based cocktails have been around a long time, the emergence of energy drinks in the late 1990’s has added a new dimension to the caffeinated alcoholic beverage phenomena. Energy drinks are marketed to provide a burst of energy and/or enhance alertness. They are affordable, convenient, sweet tasting and contain large amounts of caffeine that mix easily into cocktails. Energy drinks are also advertised in connection with extreme sports, hot babes, and are often given away on college campuses. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, especially if you are a young person looking to party until the sun comes up.

So what’s the down side to this buzz? With caffeinated alcoholic drinks, the caffeine fools you into thinking you are not as drunk as you really are. The caffeine also keeps you awake longer, which gives you more time to continue drinking. This increases your risk of getting hurt, overdosing on alcohol, being sexually assaulted, or doing something you might regret, like driving drunk, getting into a fight, or sexually assaulting someone else.

Hmm…. Definitely something to think about, AND to talk about with the young people in your life.

Leah Simon, RN

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