Consuming Energy drinks has been strongly linked to the use of illegal prescription stimulants, according to a study done at a major US university.

The study found that there was a 50 percent probability that student’s at Midwestern University who consumed energy drinks for the past 30 days, also consumed stimulant medication without a prescription.

The longer the students consumed energy drinks, the greater the chance that they would end up using stimulant medication as well.

Only 15 percent of the students who hadn’t taken any energy drinks in the same period consumed stimulant medication illicitly.

Stimulant medications, such as Concerta and Ritalin, are often prescribed to treat attention disorders.

Another scary result to emerge from the study is that all the students who had a valid prescription for stimulant medication, mixed their medication with energy drinks. Something the study report describes as increasing risk of “side effects and dangers”. These include serotonin syndrome, which can be lethal.

The study experts believe that students are at risk of developing a substance addiction because of the, “high cognitive demands placed on them as students.”

The study made use of an anonymous online survey to obtain its results and was published in the journal Substance Abuse.

-Leigh Schaller @LeighSchaller