Energy drinks with substance abuse among musicians
Washington: Musicians who frequently use energy drinks are more likely to indulge in binge drinking, have alcohol-related social problems and misuse prescription drugs, according to a new research.
University at Buffalo research scientists Kathleen E. Miller and Brian M. Quigley examined substance use by 226 Western New York professional and amateur musicians aged 18-45. In the sample, 94 percent were caffeine users and 57 percent reported use of energy drinks specifically.
Sixty-eight percent of the musicians surveyed reported heavy binge drinking at least once or twice a year and 74 percent reported experiencing at least one alcohol-related social problem.
Musicians who used energy drinks reported significantly more misuse of legal substances than those who did not use energy drinks. For example, 31 percent of energy drink users misused prescription drugs (compared to 13 percent of nonusers) and 76 percent reported binge drinking (compared to 59 percent of nonusers).
Manufacturers of popular energy drink brands appear to target actual or aspiring musicians as a niche market for their products.
With names like Monster, Daredevil and Havoc, edgy energy drink marketers consistently use brand naming, packaging, and advertising messages to tie the products to themes of rebellion, risk taking, and even illegal drug use, Miller points out.
This may help to explain the unique associations between substance misuse and energy drinks, she suggests.
It may also give energy drinks a special appeal for musicians, who tend to score high on the personality trait of sensation-seeking.
The study was published in the Journal of Caffeine Research.