Objective: The present study is a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) and injury. The study provides a summary and critical analysis of the current literature.
Method: The review was conducted using PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews. Studies included in the review were those that quantified the relationship between AmED use and injury risk relative to alcohol only. Records were considered along the following theme areas: controlled for drinking behaviors, controlled for impulsivity or risk-taking propensity, examined sex differences, and self-reported injury outcomes for (a) AmED versus alcohol consumers and (b) AmED versus alcohol sessions.
Results: The results support the association between AmED and increased risk of injury; however, substantial variability in harm outcomes and methodology makes it difficult to determine the extent of this risk.
Conclusions: There is significant need for further examination of the role of AmED use in the risk of injury. A better understanding of the relationship between AmED use and injury and of the potential underlying mechanisms is crucial for informing effective preventive intervention strategies. This review can be used to inform the public and health practitioners of the risks associated with AmED use. Further, translating this knowledge to policy makers could inform regulations on the availability of AmED, with the goal of reducing injury-related outcomes.