ER Visits Tied to Energy Drinks Double in Last Four Years - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

ER Visits Tied to Energy Drinks Double in Last Four Years

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SHERMAN, TX---- Energy drinks are well known for providing a boost, but now one government study is saying they're also providing a trip to the emergency room. The study states that in the last four years the amount of emergency room visits involving energy drinks has doubled.

You can find them in most gas stations, grocery stores and vending machines throughout the country and people drink them for many different reasons.

"A lot of students use them to get work done and to stay up," college student Fay Walker said.

"I think some people just don't like the taste of coffee and other people want more of a kick," college student Rachel Mandelbaum said.

In the last few years their popularity has skyrocketed, but one government study says so has the number of people coming to the emergency room.

"There has been an increase in the number of people that I've seen and a lot of the people coming in have underlying health conditions," Texoma Medical Center Emergency Dr. Greg Hansen said.  

The study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide in the last four years, from 10,000 in 2007 to 20,000 in 2011. Out of the 20,000 visits in 2011, 42% of them had mixed the energy drink with another stimulant such as alcohol, Adderal or Ritalin.

Dr. Hansen says several things can happen when you consume an energy drink.

"A lot of people get anxiety attacks and palpitations. For some people who have underlying heart disease it can lead to a chemical stress test and then people start having chest pain which I've had quite a few times here at the emergency department," Dr. Hansen said.

Denison Dietician Tori Park suggests drinking a natural energy drink called Arbonne Energy Fizz tabs.

"I prefer the Arbonne tabs because they have a natural high in them. The ingredients that are in them are natural and they use Stevia as a natural sweetener so they aren't sugar loaded like a lot of those Rockstars and Monsters," Park said.

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