There is a trend in both underage and of-age youth to binge on caffeinated energy drinks, as well as a trend of both underage and of-age youth to mix caffeine and alcohol. The real danger that this lends to is developing young alcoholics or addicts, and as far as the brain is concerned large amounts of caffeine are no different, and just as addictive, as cocaine.
Whether it be caffeine, cocaine, or alcohol, these substance all increase dopamine in the brain and thus high-jack the brain’s reward system. Any substance that highjacks the brain’s reward system strongly increases the probability of addiction. In fact, one of the strongest predictors of later addiction is the age of exposure to a substance that increase dopamine: The younger the exposure the greater the probability of developing a substance addiction. The trend among youth to chug caffeinated energy drinks, with or without alcohol, is becoming increasingly associated with substance addiction.
Our youth can easily access these energy drinks. The high energy drinks can also cause issues with the young persons sleeping habits and eating habits. Once we factor all there is to know it can create a lot of red flags for the behaviors you might see in the youth you know. There are probably many different reasons young people may give for consuming these drinks, but the best case scenario for all would be to monitor and perhaps omit them from their diet.
Please pay attention to the amount of these type drinks your child is drinking and put a limit if at all possible on their consumption.