New Research Indicates That Alcohol and Energy Drink Mixers Can Have Same Effect as Cocaine

Alcohol is an extremely powerful and addictive substance that can utterly consume the life of an individual without him or her even realising. Many factors can influence alcohol consumption, although the overall decision is down to the individual. Once addicted to alcohol, it can be extremely challenging to stop drinking.

When trying to overcome an alcohol addiction, it can be very tough as you may experience alcohol withdrawal, which occurs when you quit drinking. The body becomes so accustomed to having alcohol present that it begins to adapt to function with this chemical substance. When the person stops drinking, the body will react and try to get back to normal. As it does, various withdrawal symptoms can occur.

Concerning Results

New research from Indiana’s Purdue University has indicated that mixing alcohol with energy drinks that have high levels of caffeine can have the same negative impact on the body as cocaine does. Professor Richard van Rijn conducted experiments on subjects who had consumed alcohol mixed with energy drinks and then monitored their brain activity after this. The results were concerning and highlighted that the effects were similar to the brain activity of someone who had taken cocaine. Professor van Rijn went on to say, “It seems the two substances together push them over a limit that causes changes in their behaviour and changes the neurochemistry in their brains.”

Deadly Concoction

People must keep in mind that these results occurred when an energy drink and alcohol were mixed, and not consumed separately. Professor van Rijn commented on this by saying, “We are clearly seeing effects of the combined drinks that we would not see if drinking one or the other.”

The detrimental effects that can come with this deadly concoction were emphasised at the start of this year when Peter Nicholson, a British tourist visiting Thailand died after a drinking session that included vodka and red bull mixers.

Higher Chance of Abusing Cocaine

Research has also shown that those who do drink alcohol and energy drinks combined have a much higher likelihood of abusing cocaine at some point in their life as they have essentially already experienced the same effects and their body has become used to them. Professor van Rijn went on to explain that “the subjects who had been exposed to alcohol and caffeine were somewhat numb to the rewarding effects of cocaine as adults. They may then use more cocaine to get the same effect. That’s one reason why it’s so difficult for drug users to quit because of these lasting changes in the brain.”

‘Wide-Eyed Drunk’

Toxicologist Julie Evans explained further: “There are some concerns around the process of people consuming vodka and Red Bull. It is a stimulant. It can counter the effects of alcohol and people consume more alcohol not realising how intoxicated they are. It is called ‘wide-eyed drunk’. When you mix Red Bull with vodka, you are risking masking the effect of alcohol on the body.”


In order to overcome any alcohol addiction, you must go through the detoxification process. This is where you will rid your body of all traces of alcohol. At this point, you will most likely experience alcohol withdrawal. The likelihood is that you will feel worse before feeling better, but as you will feel much better once the addiction is overcome, it is well worth the initial unpleasantness. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms you experience will depend entirely on the individual and how long he or she has been abusing alcohol.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

There is a huge list of possible withdrawal symptoms, but this does not mean that you will experience every one of them. The chances are that you will only experience one or two symptoms. It is virtually impossible to predict exactly which withdrawal symptoms each individual will experience; one thing that can be said is that nearly every person going through alcohol withdrawal will experience sleep problems such as insomnia and mood swings. Unfortunately, both symptoms can last for months.

Medical approaches to dealing with detox vary from person to person. Some people will be given medication to help them cope with the pain of the most serious symptoms; however, this is usually needed only in rare circumstances.

Overcoming Your Alcohol Addiction

Anyone who is committed to overcoming their alcohol addiction must be aware that it is highly possible that they will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These can be uncomfortable, but with the correct help and support, you will get through it. Here at Addiction Helper, we can assist with finding the right treatment or facility for you. We will ensure that you are fully educated on your addiction and that the clinic you choose will be the one that will benefit you the most. Contact us today for more information.

Source: This drinking habit is just as bad as taking cocaine (Marie Claire)


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