Study: energy drink-related ER visits have doubled

Many of our readers in Alabama are no doubt aware of the harmful effect that drinking too many energy drinks can cause on the human body. A new study performed by the federal government sheds light on the havoc that the drinks are causing on unsuspecting consumers. wrongful death lawsuits have been filed in the past against drink manufacturers, and this could lead to more.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study, emergency room visits caused by consuming energy drinks effectively doubled, from approximately 10,000 in 2007 to more than 20,000 in 2011. In 2011 alone, 42 percent of those ER visits have to do with people who used energy drinks with alcohol or drugs.

The drink industry denies that their drinks are harmful. One family of a 14-year-old girl has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the makers of Monster energy drinks for her untimely death after she drank two cans of the beverage.

And while the 20,000 is a pittance compared to the millions of ER visits made each year for other reasons, the fact that the rate has doubled so quickly should cause concern. Many doctors report first-hand evidence of their caseloads picking up with regard to the energy drink problem.

One ER doctor described a young adult who came in one night complaining of a racing heart and difficulty breathing after consuming energy drinks and alcohol. The doctor said the patient had become dehydrated so badly that his kidneys were starting to give out.

With many of these drinks marketed toward teens, parents need to be on the lookout for deceptive advertising. Many kids consuming the drinks aren't aware of the risks, and the manufacturers are doing nothing to help.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Energy Drink-Related ER Visits Double In Just A Few Years: Survey," Garance Burke, Jan. 16, 2013

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