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"A November, 2007, study at Wake Forest University in North Carolina found that students who mixed energy drinks with alcohol experienced more of the negative effects of booze, including being taken advantage of sexually and riding with intoxicated drivers.
The fear is that energy drinks dull the feeling of being drunk, but not the physical effects, making people more likely to drive while impaired or simply over-indulge, said Dr. Miriam Kaufman, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent health at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital. "We see that as one of the really big issues."
There is also evidence that young people quaff energy drinks when they exercise and are dehydrated, even though the beverages are diuretics and could dehydrate them even more."
The recent Prince Edward Island debate has renewed questions about these products, which are designed specifically to deliver a potent dose of stimulants, and yet seem to be marketed to young people.
Schools in at least three Canadian provinces have issued warnings to parents about the beverages, while lawmakers in some U.S. states are pushing for the products to be prohibited. Denmark and France have already banned Red Bull. The Nova Scotia health minister intervened last year to stop Red Bull's distributors from giving away free cans outside a high school.