The Multiplicative Effect of Combining Alcohol with Energy Drinks on Adolescent Gambling

Vieno, A., Canale, N., Potente, R., Scalese, M., Griffiths, MD. and Molinaro, S.
Journal / Publication name: 
Addictive Behaviors

Purpose: There has been increased concern about the negative effects of adolescents consuming a combination of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED). To date, few studies have focused on AmED use and gambling. The present study analyzed the multiplicative effect of AmED consumption, compared to alcohol alone, on the likelihood of at-risk or problem gambling during adolescence. Methods: Data from the ESPAD®Italia 2015 study, a cross-sectional survey conducted in a nationally representative sample of students (ages 15 to 19 years) were used to examine the association between self-reported AmED use (≥ 6 times, ≥ 10 times, and ≥ 20 times during the last month) and self-reported gambling severity. Multivariate models were used to calculate adjusted prevalence ratios to evaluate the association between alcohol use, AmED use, and gambling among a representative sample of adolescents who reported gambling in the last year and completed a gambling severity scale (n = 4495). Results: Among the 19% students classed as at-risk and problem gamblers, 43.9% were classed as AmED consumers, while 23.6% were classed as alcohol consumers (i.e. did not mix alcohol with energy drinks). In multivariate analyses that controlled for covariates, AmED consumers were three times more likely to be at-risk and problem gamblers (OR = 3.05) compared to non-consuming adolescents, while the effect became less pronounced with considering those who consumed alcohol without the addition of energy drinks (OR = 1.37). Conclusions: The present study clearly established that consuming AmED might pose a significantly greater risk of experiencing gambling-related problems among adolescents.

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Type of Document: 
Peer reviewed article/paper
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