When regular old coffee isn't enough, many people turn to energy drinks like Monster, 5-Hour Energy, or Red Bull to help stay awake. Some of the most avid consumers of energy drinks are young people who are in school and need to cram for an upcoming exam.
A study published in the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence by the University of Maryland's School of Public Health suggests a correlation between young adult energy drink consumers and cocaine abusers.
The study covered 1,099 young adults. They recruited 18-year-old first-year college students for the study and tracked their energy drink consumption over a period of years. Professor Amelia Arria, a lead author of the study and associate professor of behavioral and community health said "the results suggest that energy drink users might be at heightened risk for other substance use, particularly stimulants ."
Regular energy drink consumers were also more likely to abuse alcohol and other prescription stimulants. There were no correlations found in the study of an increase of marijuana or tobacco use among the regular energy drink consumers. Previous studies have suggested that people who regularly drink energy drinks are usually assholes that subscribe to problematic ideas of masculinity, plus the drinks are really bad for you, health-wise.
In its conclusion, the study does state that more "research is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying the connection between ED and substance use." We've all heard the "marijuana is a gateway drug to heroin" before so take the study with a grain of salt.