Alcohol mixed with energy drinks
Caffeinated alcoholic beverages
|A public health issue:|
Drinking alcohol and caffeine together can put Canadians at greater risk of harm than drinking alcohol alone.
Youth and young adults are at greatest risk as they are the biggest consumers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages (also known as alcohol energy drinks).
contain a mixture of alcohol and caffeine. They are available in two forms:
- Pre-mixed by manufacturers and sold in liquor stores or licensed establishments; and
- Hand mixed by consumers themselves.
Caffeinated alcoholic beverages are also referred to as “alcohol mixed with energy drinks”, with the associated acronym, AMED.
Caffeinated alcoholic beverages:
report, policy recommendations and fact sheets
A new report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia (CARBC) examines the trends and risks of alcohol and caffeine consumption, and provides targeted recommendations for policy makers, public health organizations, healthcare providers and researchers.
View the recommendations in the full report, Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages in Canada: Prevalence of Use, Risks and Recommended Policy Responses
CCSA and CARBC have also developed alcohol and caffeine fact sheets
for parents and youth:
CCSA is pleased to make these resources available for download free of charge. You can
- print your own copies
- translate them into languages other than English or French
If you wish to print multiple copies for distribution or to translate the resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
to request permission. Please note that CCSA does not have the capacity to print copies on behalf of other organizations.
The risks of mixing alcohol and caffeine:Youth and young adults at greatest risk from mixing alcohol and caffeine
1Health Canada. (2010). Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey, microdata file; analysis by the Centre for Addictions Research of BC.
- Youth and young adults drink caffeinated alcoholic beverages at levels four times higher than the general public,1 particularly at universities, where the rate is almost double that of other young adults.
- Youth and young adults prefer hand-mixed over pre-mixed drinks. This puts them at greater risk of dangerous side effects because hand-mixed alcohol energy drinks typically contain more caffeine and alcohol.
Compared to those who drink alcohol alone, youth and young adults who drink alcohol mixed with caffeine are more likely to
Safer drinking tips for young adults and youth
- commit or be a victim of sexual assault;
- ride in a vehicle with someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drive while under the influence of alcohol themselves;
- be hurt or injured and require medical attention; and
- drink more alcohol without realizing they are intoxicated because the caffeine keeps them awake longer.
Alcohol can harm the way that young brains and bodies develop. Parents should talk to their sons and daughters about drinking. Make sure they know the risks they face. Advise them to
- avoid hand-mixed caffeinated alcoholic drinks; and
- drink pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks with extreme caution.
Young adults and youth should always
- plan for a safe ride home so there will be no drinking and driving;
- use the buddy system and keep an eye on their friends and themselves;
- eat food while drinking because it slows the absorption of alcohol; and
- have water or non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated drinks in between alcohol drinks.
Also, see Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
.For more information, email email@example.comReference:
Brache, K., Thomas, G., & Stockwell, T. (2012). Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages in Canada: Prevalence of Use, Risks and Recommended Policy Responses
. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.