OBJECTIVE: This study examines the use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) as a predictor of alcohol problems and alcohol-related consequences and accidents two years later in a college student sample.
METHOD: Longitudinal data on AmED use, alcohol consequences, and alcohol problems were collected from the fall of students' second year of college to the fall of their fourth year (N = 620, 49% male).
RESULTS: After we controlled for demographic indicators and heavy episodic drinking, AmED use was a consistent predictor of negative alcohol-related outcomes 2 years later. Compared with no AmED use, both infrequent (i.e., one to three times per month) and frequent (i.e., one or more times per week) AmED use were associated with an increased risk of negative alcohol consequences and harmful/hazardous alcohol use (≥8 on Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT]). Frequent AmED use was also associated with serious alcohol problems ≥16 on AUDIT) and an increased risk of alcohol-related accidents in the subsequent 2 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Prospective risks of alcohol consequences related to AmED use suggest a continued need for research and policy to address the surveillance, etiology, and prevention of AmED use.