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Many of us may not be aware that there are so called energy drinks available to the general public and to our youth that contain alcohol. Some of these "energy drinks" also share similar packaging that appears to be a non-alcoholic energy drink but in fact contains alcohol and is commonly sold and made accessible to individuals under the legal drinking age and those who are unaware that their beverage of choice contains alcohol. The name given to such drinks is "ALCOPOPS".

These so called energy drinks contain caffeine, other stimulants and ALCOHOL. These drinks are a dangerous mix and are available to the public and our youth. Nonalcoholic energy drinks are very popular among youth. 31% of youth 12-17 years of age, and 34% of youth 18-24 years of age report regular use of energy drinks compared to 22% for those 25-34 year olds. The problem is that there is brand confusion with the non-alcoholic version. The alcohol producers promote this product with close association of their product by mimicking their containers, including size, shape and graphics. The price of ALCOPOPS is also less expensive than non-alcoholic energy drinks. In most cases alcoholic energy drinks have a higher volume of alcohol than that of beer. Another existing problem with consuming ALCOPOPS is that alcohol is a depressant and energy drinks are stimulating because of the ingredient caffeine.Together these can be a dangerous mix. The stimulant effects can mask how intoxicated you are and prevent you from realizing how much alcohol you have consumed. Fatigue is one of the ways the body normally tells someone that they've had enough to drink. Both energy drinks and alcohol are very dehydrating (the caffeine in energy drinks is a diuretic). Dehydration can hinder the body's ability to metabolize alcohol and will increase the toxicity and potential for alcohol poisoning. Only the non-alcoholic brands have nutrition facts and ingredients listed. If you are a fan of energy drinks we encourage you to read the ingredients list before purchasing your chosen brand. Because most enjoy the taste of the drinks more are consumed in a short amount of time. This can spell trouble for anyone but especially for our youth. Please show that you care and take the time to read the ingredients listed on the packaging. This extra step might help save a life.

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