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

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 16:54 authored by Amy PeacockAmy Peacock, Sindicich, N, Dunn, M, Whittaker, E, Sutherland, R, Entwistle, G, Burns, L, Raimondo BrunoRaimondo Bruno

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.


Publication title

Drug and Alcohol Review








School of Psychological Sciences


Carfax Publishing

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified

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