A recent government study reveals emergency room visits linked to those popular energy drinks are on the rise. But Tampa General Hospital has not seen the surge that hospitals across the nation have seen. That being said, emergency room physician Dr. Jason Wilson says the results of that study do not surprise him. "It certainly doesn't surprise me. You have an unregulated market for a dietary supplement where can have any amount of caffeine in those drinks. And people are using those drinks with other substances, drugs, alcohol, at the same time. "
The government estimates from 2007 to 2011, the number of emergency room visits involving energy drinks have spiked from about 10-thousand to 20-thousand. The worst cases seem to be when the drinks are mixed with alcohol. Dr. Wilson says that can prove to be a deadly 'cocktail.' "It is a danger, you essentially have a central nervous system depressant, being mixed with a central nervous system stimulant. And that central nervous system stimulant is an unregulated market. Now you've mixed the two together and your central nervous system depressant, alcohol, you're going to blow by normal negative regulatory mechanisms that stop you from drinking. "
The beverage industry counters the study, saying energy drinks are safe and there is no proof linking the products to adverse reactions.
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