Ordering an energy drink with vodka at the bar is pretty standard, but it turns out the popular concoction is doing more damage than just giving you a pounding heart beat.
A study carried out by Purdue University in the States and published by PLOS ONE concluded that mixing vodka with highly caffeinated energy drinks could result in the same long-lasting effects on the brain as cocaine.
The tests carried out on mice found that repeated consumption of the drink mix leads people to feel desensitised to other substances that give you a rush; similar to what happens to your brain when doing cocaine
This then leads people to turn to more intense substances like hard drugs as a way to compensate for the absence of the ‘high’ they used to get.
Dr. Richard Van Rijn wrote:
"Using our exposure model, we found that repeated exposure to caffeine-mixed alcohol during adolescence causes unique behavioral and neurochemical effects not observed in mice exposed to caffeine or alcohol alone.
Based on similar findings for different substances of abuse, it is possible that repeated exposure to caffeine-mixed alcohol during adolescence could potentially alter or escalate future substance abuse as means to compensate for these behavioral and neurochemical alterations.
"... Mice that had been exposed to alcohol and caffeine were somewhat numb to the rewarding effects of cocaine as adults. Mice that were exposed to highly caffeinated alcoholic drinks later found cocaine wasn’t as pleasurable. They may then use more cocaine to get the same effect."
Read the full study here.