Energy drink consumption and the perceived risk and disapproval of drugs: Monitoring the Future, 2010–2016

Dylan B. Jackson, Wanda E. Leal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Energy drinks have become quite popular in recent years among adolescents, prompting a wealth of recent research examining the potential deleterious consequences of energy drink consumption among youth. The present study adds to this body of work by exploring perceptions of risk and disapproval of soft and hard drugs among adolescents and whether such attitudes are predicted by patterns of energy drink/shot consumption. Methods: Data were derived from the seven most recent cohorts (2010–2016) of the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, a nationally representative survey of U.S. youth. The significance of associations between energy drink/shot consumption and drug perceptions/attitudes was tested using logistic regression techniques employing adjustments for covariates and cohort-specific fixed effects. Results: Energy drink/shot consumption was largely associated with significant increases in the odds of failing to perceive any risk of drug use and failing to disapprove of drug use among youths, regardless of whether attitudes concerning soft or hard drugs were examined. These associations were particularly robust in the case of habitual energy drink/shot consumers (relative to occasional consumers or abstainers). Conclusions: Additional efforts should be made to heighten awareness and education concerning the potential dangers of energy drink consumption among youth, particularly as it pertains to drug attitudes and diminished perceptions of substance use risk. Policies that minimize energy drink consumption among youth as well as programs that educate parents and teachers about the drug attitudes of youths who regularly consume energy drinks and promote active monitoring of these adolescents may be worthwhile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Drugs
  • Energy drinks
  • Perceptions
  • Pooled cross-sectional
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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