Driving under the Influence Behaviours among High School Students Who Mix Alcohol with Energy Drinks

Alcohol and energy drinks are commonly used substances by youth in Canada, and are often mixed (AmED). While several studies have shown that AmED can have dangerous effects, less well understood is how AmED is associated with driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. This study sought to determine whether youth who use AmED were more likely to engage in driving, or being a passenger of a driver, under the influence of alcohol or cannabis compared to youth who use either alcohol or energy drinks alone.This study used data from grade 10–12 students who took part in the 2014/2015 Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (N=17,450). The association of past-year AmED use with past-30day: driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis, and riding with an alcohol- or cannabis-influenced driver, was assessed using logistic regression. One in four youth had consumed AmED in the previous 12 months. AmED users were more likely to engage in all risk behaviors except riding with a drinking driver, relative to youth who only consumed alcohol. No association was observed for youth who consumed alcohol and energy drinks on separate occasions. Youth who use AmED demonstrate a higher risk profile for driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis, than youth who use alcohol alone. Future research should explore the biopsychosocial pathways that may explain why using energy drinks enhances the already heightened risk posed by alcohol on other health-related behaviors such as driving under the influence.


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  • Accession Number: 01693189
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 31 2019 3:28PM