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Co-ingestion of energy drinks with alcohol and other substances among a sample of people who regularly use ecstasy


Peacock, A and Sindicich, N and Dunn, M and Whittaker, E and Sutherland, R and Entwistle, G and Burns, L and Bruno, R, Co-ingestion of energy drinks with alcohol and other substances among a sample of people who regularly use ecstasy, Drug and Alcohol Review, 35, (3) pp. 352-358. ISSN 0959-5236 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

DOI: doi:10.1111/dar.12343


Introduction and Aims: Despite the potential harms of mixing unregulated drugs with energy drinks (ED), research to date has primarily been focused on EDs co-ingested with alcohol. Consequently, the aim of the present study was to explore the rate of use, harms and correlates of EDs co-ingested with alcohol and other drugs among a sample of people who regularly use illicit stimulant drugs.

Design and Methods: In 2010, 693 Australians who regularly used ecstasy completed a 1-h interview about their past six-month ED and drug use.

Results: Three-quarters of the sample (77%) had recently consumed EDs with other substances, primarily alcohol (70%) and ecstasy (57%). People who consumed ED with alcohol versus those who had consumed ED with ecstasy and with alcohol (only 8% reported only consuming ED with ecstasy) had similar profiles in regards to demographics, drug use, mental health and drug-related problems. Primary motives for consuming ED with alcohol included increased alertness (59%), the taste (25%), to party for longer (23%) and to combat fatigue (16%). One-half (52%) and one-quarter (27%) of participants who consumed EDs with alcohol and with ecstasy respectively had recently experienced adverse outcomes post-consumption, primarily headaches (24% and 11%) and heart palpitations (21% and 14%).

Discussion and Conclusions: Co-ingestion of EDs with licit and illicit drugs is common among people who regularly use ecstasy and related drugs. Adverse outcomes of co-ingestion suggest that targeted education regarding negative interactive drug effects is crucial for harm reduction.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:energy drink, alcohol, caffeine, ecstasy, stimulant, psychostimulants
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Other psychology
Research Field:Other psychology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Peacock, A (Miss Amy Peacock)
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:106550
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-02-13
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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