The young and the reckless: do all consumers of alcohol and energy drinks in risk-taking while intoxicated?
Peacock, A and Bruno, RB, The young and the reckless: do all consumers of alcohol and energy drinks in risk-taking while intoxicated?, 38th Annual RSA Scientific Meeting, 20-24 June, 2015, San Antonio, Texas, pp. 82A. (2015) [Conference Extract]
Contrary to predictions, several studies have shown that people who consume alcohol mixed with
energy drinks (AmED) display low odds of risk-taking during AmED versus alcohol drinking sessions.
However, these results are based on treating AmED consumers as a homogeneous group. The aim
of the present study was to determine typologies of AmED risk-taking behavior amongst consumers,
as well as identifying correlates of AmED risk-taking class membership. AmED consumers
(N = 403) completed an online survey where they reported whether they had engaged in risk behaviors
in the preceding 6 months during AmED and alcohol drinking sessions. Latent class models
were estimated based on AmED risk-taking data; univariate multinomial logistic regression was conducted
to determine correlates of class membership. A 3-class model was selected based on fit and
parsimony, identifying: (i) Low risk-taking consumers (38%): low probability of any AmED risk behaviors;
(ii) Disinhibited intake consumers (48%): high probability of drinking and spending more than
intended; (iii) High risk-taking consumers (14%): high probability of most AmED risk behaviors. The
latter two groups had significantly higher odds of being male and reporting hazardous alcohol use,
more frequent AmED use, greater alcohol and ED intake in AmED sessions, and higher trait impulsivity
scores. The latter two groups also reported significantly greater odds of risk-taking behavior
regardless of whether consuming alcohol only or AmED. These results indicate that AmED consumers
are not a homogeneous group in regards to their risk-taking behavior post-consumption. High
likelihood of risk-taking behavior in AmED sessions, as well as elevated risk-taking in alcohol drinking
sessions, highlights the need for targeted harm minimisation policies and programmes for a significant
minority of consumers.
alcohol; energy drinks; caffeine; harm; cognition; intoxication; behavior