Alcohol, energy drinks and other stimulants: An emergency room study assessing the effects of gender, context and substance use on injury risk

Funding body: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) operating grant

Background: There is increasing concern about the role of energy drinks mixed with alcohol as contributors to increased risk-taking behaviour and related injuries. This study is applying a methodology previously used extensively by the research team to assess injury risk from alcohol consumption among individuals attending emergency departments to explore whether consumption of energy drinks adds to further risk. Approximately 4,000 Emergency Room attendees will be interviewed and relative risk assessed, both by using injured individuals as their own controls (case-crossover design) and also individuals presenting to the ER with illnesses as controls (case-control design). The differential effects of gender, age, personality and setting will be examined. In addition to assessing the risk of combining alcohol with energy drinks, other alcohol/drug combinations will be assessed with a focus on other stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine.

Progress to date: Data collection completed, data have been cleaned, one journal article has been published and others are under preparation.