Report: Energy drinks landing people in the ER - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Report: Energy drinks landing people in the ER

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LOS ANGELES -

Energy drinks are super popular, especially with young adults.

"It kinda gives me a boost," said Allen Abrishame, a junior in college.

Abrishame 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," said Abrishame, 20.

But the drinks are landing more and more people in the emergency room.

"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, vice chair of the Emergency Services Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says 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.

In recent years sales have soared for the top three energy drink companies: Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar. And marketers' main target is young people. The government report found 18-25 was 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, and once the energy drink wears off, I have a really bad headache," 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 FDA is already investigating the safety of energy drinks after a number of deaths were linked to them.

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