Brian M. Quigley and Kathleen E. Miller, both of University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions, conducted a study that indicates musicians who consume energy drinks regularly are more likely to misuse substances such as alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs. The researchers looked at over 200 musicians, both amateur and professional, ranging in age from late teens to middle forties. Nearly all of the participants used caffeine regularly, and over half reported that they drank energy drinks. The findings revealed that 68 percent of the participants had engaged in heavy binge drinking on more than one occasion over the past year, and that nearly three quarters of them had behaved in a regrettable way while intoxicated. Many cited having a social dysfunction as a result of their alcohol consumption, and others reported experiencing conflicts, arguments or hangovers. Additionally, almost all of the participants reported that they engaged in recreational drug use, using substances such as cocaine, marijuana, psychedelic drugs and prescription drugs.
“No question, we’ve got quite a caffeine habit,” observes Miller. “But energy drinks bring something more to the equation.” Most energy drinks are marketed to certain segments of the population, including musicians. Manufacturers use music in the names of their drinks, sponsor musicians and tours, and create logos that integrate musical themes. The researchers also note that many musicians live on a diet of caffeine due to their irregular sleep schedules. Because of their odd work schedules and lack of sleep, Miller believes that this group of consumers may provide an especially ripe market for energy drink manufacturers. Because energy drinks are not regulated by the FDA, the researchers warn that these drinks can pose a high risk of caffeine intoxication. This condition results from over-consumption of caffeine, and can cause anxiety, insomnia, cardiac issues, elevated blood pressure, seizures, and occasionally, even result in death.
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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