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Alcohol Mixed With Energy Drink Use Among U.S. 12th-Grade Students: Prevalence, Correlates, and Associations With Unsafe Driving

AbstractPurpose The consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) is a risky drinking behavior, most commonly studied using college samples. We know little about rates of AmED use and its associations with other risk behaviors, including unsafe driving, among high school students. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of AmED use among high school seniors in the United States. Methods Nationally representative analytic samples included 6,498 12th-grade students who completed Monitoring the Future surveys in 2012 and 2013. Focal measures included AmED use, sociodemographic characteristics, academic and social factors, other substance use, and unsafe driving (i.e., tickets/warnings and accidents) after alcohol consumption. Results Approximately one in four students (24.8%) reported AmED use during the past 12 months. Rates of AmED use were highest among males and white students. Using multivariable logistic regression models controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, results indicate that students who cut class, spent more evenings out for fun and recreation, and reported binge drinking, marijuana use, and illicit drug use had a greater likelihood of AmED use. AmED use was also associated with greater odds of alcohol-related unsafe driving, even after controlling for sociodemographic, academic, and social factors and other substance use. Conclusions AmED use among 12th-grade students is common and associated with certain sociodemographic, academic, social, and substance use factors. AmED use is also related to alcohol-related unsafe driving, which is a serious public health concern.