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ER Visits Tied To Energy Drinks Double Since 2007

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new government report is raising more concern over energy drinks. It shows more people are heading to the emergency room after drinking them.

Monique Griego has more on the findings.

Energy drinks and the rush they offer are super popular, especially with young adults.

“It kinda gives me a boost,” said Allen Abrishame.

Abrishame, a college junior, works late nights at a restaurant so he uses them to stay awake.

“During the middle of the shift, I’ll get tired and knock one down,” Abrishame said.

But a new report shows the drinks are landing more and more people in the emergency room.

Just last October, the FDA announced it was investigating the link between Monster Energy Drinks and five deaths. They included a 14-year-old Maryland girl who went into cardiac arrest after drinking two Monsters within 24 hours.

“The first question I ask when I see a young person with a rapid heartbeat and anxiety is, have you taken any energy drinks?'” said Dr. Stephen Meldon.

The report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report shows ER visits doubled in the last four years, from about 10,000 to more than 20,000.

Doctors say those high doses of caffeine and other additives can cause a number of reactions.

“It’s really going to be symptoms of taking a stimulant so you’re going to have nervousness, rapid heart rate, anxiety,” Meldon said.

The government report found 18-25-year-olds were the most common age group to need emergency treatment.

“I get really jittery, I get really hyper. It makes me want to pace and I just don’t feel good,” said Victoria Benson, 19.

The American Beverage Association criticizes the report, saying many of those who end up in the ER are also consuming alcohol or drugs.

The association also said the report was misleading because it doesn’t give any information on the health conditions of those who consumed the drinks.

The FDA continues to investigate the safety of energy drinks and around 20 deaths potentially linked to various brands.

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