The Connection Between Energy Drinks and Addiction

Students Who Consume Energy Drinks are at a Higher Risk for Addiction

A recent study that analyzed college students across the nation has revealed a shocking connection between the consumption of everyday energy drinks and the likelihood of addiction. Many college students consume energy drinks in order to get a boost of stamina or to give them the energy needed to study for exams. Although these drinks may seem harmless, they are actually putting our students at an increased risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol later on in life. What these drinks teach students is that once consumed it has an effect on their body and mind, often as a result of caffeine.

The study that was conducted on 1,000 college students revealed that those who consumed energy drinks on a consistent basis also had higher cocaine and alcohol consumption. Some of these students also revealed that they misused prescription drugs such as Xanax as a means to get high. The results uncovered that those who consume energy drinks regularly are more likely to abuse other drugs, as well as alcohol, compared to those who do not drink energy drinks.

The Effects of Caffeine

Many of the energy drinks that are marketed today contain the equivalent of four cups of coffee in a single can. The high consumption of caffeine on the developing teen brain can have long-lasting effects, some of the irreversible. When individuals begin to drink caffeine in their teenage years, they gradually build up a tolerance, requiring an increased amount of caffeine in order to feel the effects once they hit their adult years.

The consumption of caffeine at an early age can alter brain chemistry as caffeine is classified as a psychoactive, stimulant drug. Some of the average amounts of caffeine per 100ml in the most popular energy drinks and sodas are:

  • Rockstar Energy Shot, 229 mg/100ml
  • AMP Energy Drink, 74 mg/100ml
  • Red Bull, 32.0 mg/100ml
  • Mountain Dew, 15.0 mg/100ml
  • Coca Cola, 9.7 mg/100ml

The College Environment

Since for the majority of students college years they are not of legal drinking age in the U.S., many individuals resort to energy drinks and highly-caffeinated beverages in order to feel a buzz. It then becomes part of their social dynamic where students begin to associate these drinks with social outings and gatherings.

The college environment across the U.S. is conducive to the indulgence of energy drinks as it has almost become part of the culture. There is a huge environmental factor when it comes to the consumption of energy drinks as a large percentage of students rely on some form of caffeine to fuel them through their day.

Additionally, a students family history plays a role in their risk of struggling with addiction later on in life. Those who have parents or close family members who are addicted to drugs or alcohol or have a substance abuse issue will be at an increased risk of addiction.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.