Caffeine and alcohol: a deadly mix
ENERGY-infused drinks combined with alcohol – at least one Warwick father thinks this has all the ingredients for a dangerous night out for our teenagers.
“There’s been all this talk about health risks with energy drinks and kids and now they’ve combined this energy crap with alcohol; it just doesn’t make sense,” the concerned Warwick father of a teenager – who did not want to be identified – said.
In particular, the worried father is talking about alcoholic drinks like Elevate, Pulse and Smirnoff Double Black which contain caffeine, guarana – which has twice the caffeine found in coffee beans – and taurine, an amino acid.
“A carton of Elevate (which is 1.9 standard drinks) is $40 for 24 cans and it’s all tarted up in pretty colours to attract our youth,” he said.
“I don’t like it that this stuff is out there and kids are getting hurt, fighting each other... it’s sending them mad.”
His worries are supported by the Australian Drug Foundation, which made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into ready-to-drink alcohol beverages late last year.
“RTDs (ready-to-drinks) are often flavoured with fruit or confectionery flavours, and are usually heavily sweetened, which masks the bitter and astringent taste of alcohol and appeals to the taste preferences of young people,” the report reads.
However a Warwick bottle shop manager said alcohol drinks like Smirnoff Premium Ice Double Black and Guarana (which comes with the warning ‘consume no more than two cans per day’) and Pulse were too expensive for younger drinkers to purchase.
“They range from about $82 to about $103 a carton (24 cans) so it’s just too expensive; some of that stuff we don’t stock anymore because it doesn’t move,” he said.
The vodka-infused energy beverage Elevate has been attributed to at least one violent crime heard in the Warwick Magistrates Court this year.
The Daily News reported in August Shaun Robert Sergent told the Warwick Magistrates Court he had consumed a large quantity of Elevate before heading to the Warwick RSL where he “inexplicably punched a man in the head”.
Warwick Police crime prevention co-ordinator Acting Senior Constable Sarah Ellis said for youngsters it was all about safe partying.
“People are encouraged to register their parties so police are able to adequately respond to incidents or calls for service to that address,” Act Snr Const Ellis said.
“It’s perceived among some people that registering your party mean minors can consume alcohol. This is certainly not the case.
“Under new police powers covering the supply of alcohol to a minor, we can confiscate alcohol from minors on private premises.”
Got a teenage end-of-year party coming up? Register with the Warwick Police on 4660 4444.