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Prev Med. 2018 Jun;111:402-409. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.11.035. Epub 2017 Nov 29.

Driving under the influence behaviours among high school students who mix alcohol with energy drinks.

Author information

1
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, 5790 University Avenue, Halifax, NS B3H 1V7, Canada. Electronic address: maria.wilson@dal.ca.
2
Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave West, TechTown 2232, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada.
3
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, 5790 University Avenue, Halifax, NS B3H 1V7, Canada.

Abstract

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 12months. AmED users were more likely to engage in all risk behaviours 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 behaviours such as driving under the influence.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Alcohol; Driving under the influence of alcohol; Driving under the influence of cannabis; Energy drinks; Road safety

PMID:
29197535
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.11.035
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