Increased Energy Drink Use as a Predictor of Illicit Prescription Stimulant Use Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to examine energy drink usage patterns and to investigate the relationship between energy drink use and illicit use of prescription stimulants among college students. METHODS: A sample of 605 undergraduate and graduate students (mean age±SD: 21.96±4.216) from a large midwestern university voluntarily participated in the study. RESULTS: Of the participants, 48.9% (n=296) reported using energy drinks in the past 30 days, whereas 25.3% (n=153) reported using prescription stimulant drugs in the past 30 days. Among prescription stimulant users without a valid medical prescription, Mann-Whitney U tests and logistic regression analysis revealed that the frequency of energy drink consumption was a significant predictor of illicit prescription stimulant use, with the odds for use increasing by 14% with each additional day of energy drink use (odds ratio for using=1.143, P≤.001). Analyses revealed statistically significant differences (P<.05) between prescription stimulant users and nonusers for all energy drink use variables, with the strongest predictors of prescription stimulant use being the number of days using energy drinks in the past 30 days and number of energy drink binges in the past 30 days. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that the frequency of energy drink use was a significant predictor of the illicit use of prescription stimulants.

altmetric score

  • 12.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Woolsey, C. L., Williams, R. D., Jacobson, B. H., Housman, J. M., McDonald, J. D., Swartz, J. H., ... Davidson, R. T.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • October 2015