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Alcohol and Health

In Western culture, having a drink after work is a pleasant way to mark the end of the day and relax. Many people like to meet friends for a drink and a snack prior to other evening entertainment. Alcohol is often consumed in combination with other substances and activities. Some people combine alcohol with smoking, sports and taking drugs as their recreational activity at the end of the day. When alcohol is taken in combination with other substances, it is not always a good combination. Sometimes, mixing alcohol with other substances, can pose a risk to health.

In a report I received from the European Forum for Responsible Drinking, the issue of mixing alcohol with energy drinks drew my attention. I believe many people lack knowledge about the health impact of this mix. Mixing alcohol with energy drinks may cause dehydration, which leads to drinking more, and faster, often again, a mix of these two. A recent study in Canada shows that the mixing of alcohol and energy drinks is very popular among students. Almost half of students surveyed, 48.5% had done this. Another survey of 4,271 students at ten American universities showed that those who drank alcohol only, and those who mixed alcohol with energy drinks were twice as likely to hurt themselves, require medical attention, assault others and be sexually abused.

In Taiwan, energy drinks are sold at every convenience store on every corner of every block in metropolitan areas. Although we have no proof young people are currently mixing energy drinks with alcohol, this is something we need to look into it. Apart from the general health risks of energy drinks; there are also brands marketed at labor and construction site workers to keep up their energy levels on the job. Most of them drink pre-mixed energy drinks contained with alcohol strength in 10%, more than twice compared with beer. Has anyone considered the risk involved when they drink at lunch break or break times during the day?

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