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According to a survey performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the number of hospital emergency room visits related to consumption of energy drinks doubled in the 4-year period from 2007 to 2011. The government-funded study estimates the number of emergency room visits related to the consumption of energy drinks increased from 10,000 in 2007 to more than 20,000 in 2011. The majority of emergency room visits were to treat teenagers and young adults. Of these visits, 42 percent of those treated mixed the energy drinks with other substances, such as Ritalin, Adderal and alcohol. Fifty-eight percent of the visits involved reactions to the energy drinks alone.

The consumption of energy drinks is deemed “a rising public health problem” by the report and points to the fact the drinks can cause insomnia, nervousness, headache, rapid heart beat and seizures requiring emergency care. (Associated Press, 1/17/13) The FDA says it will examine the report. (ABC News, 1/16/13)

ABC News’ Lisa Stark reported that Dr. Allen Taylor, chief of cardiology at Georgetown University Hospital, says that energy drinks contain other unregulated substances which can also “add to the stimulant nature of the drinks” compounding their adverse effects. The American Beverage Association continues to support the claim that energy drinks are safe and denounced the hospital study. (ABC News 1/16/13)

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