261585 Testing the relations between caffeinated alcohol drinks and problem drinking

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Krystel Tossone, MPH, MA , College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, OH
R. Scott Olds, HSD, MLIS , Social and Behavioral Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Introduction. College student heavy episodic drinking (HED) remains a public health challenge. Understanding college student use of caffeinated alcohol drinks (Alcohol-mixed Energy Drinks – AmED) posed the following research question: ‘are caffeinated alcohol users more likely to be problem drinkers?' Significance. The FDA reported in 2009 that ‘there is no evidence to support the claim that caffeine is "generally recognized as safe" ("GRAS") for use in alcoholic beverages.' With the already recognized risks of HED by college students, AmED use requires further investigation. Methods. A random sample of 495 college students at a Midwestern campus completed an anonymous and voluntary survey that measured problem drinking using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and AmED measures. A linear regression model tested whether those who used AmED had a higher AUDIT score than those who did not use AmED. Results. The adjusted R-squared value for the model was .3454. Accounting for multiple covariates, those who consumed more AmED were more likely to have a higher AUDIT score than those who consumed less or none AmED (p < .0001). Also, being male and living off campus were statistically associated with having a higher AUDIT score (p = .0006 and p = .0003). Conclusions. Using AmED predicts problem drinking risk. Females are less likely to consume energy drinks and/or AmED, and less likely to have a higher AUDIT score. Being off campus increases the risk of drinking AmED and having a higher AUDIT score.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To describe the relationship between using alcohol mixed with energy drinks and having a risk of alcohol use disorder among a college sample.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student in public health and have worked on projects as part of the analysis team in regards to alcohol use and body image among college students. Risky behaviors among college students is one of my scientific interests.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.