Alcohol, caffeine a bad combination

Alcohol and caffeine have long been favorite chemicals of the human race. Recently, there has been a striking trend in both the United States and abroad of the sales of alcoholic drinks containing the stimulant caffeine.

On paper, the combination seems pretty harmless. Alcohol and caffeine have been used for thousands of years the world over and have a relatively safe track record when used wisely and in moderation. The problem with the combination of caffeine and alcohol is each chemicals’ inherent effect on the body.

Alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system. That is, it makes us relaxed, lethargic and can eventually negatively effect our motor skills, speech and pretty much anything involving our nervous system.

On the other hand, caffeine’s effect is the opposite of alcohol. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. Though it can decrease our reaction times, caffeine makes us alert and improves our general well being.

Generally when a person is drinking caffeine and alcoholic drinks together, they are not drinking in moderation and are looking to achieve a buzz.

Potentially, when consuming drinks such as 4 Loko or the ever-popular Red Bull and vodka, one may get incredibly inebriated but still have copious amounts of energy.

This energetic façade created by mixing alcohol and caffeine is where the real problem with the combination lies. Someone who is drinking alcohol and caffeine together may feel energetic and mentally stimulated, but may actually be quite inebriated and not have quite the physical abilities they think they have.

After having a few caffeinated alcoholic drinks, a person may think they are okay to operate a vehicle when in reality they are not. Caffeine creates the façade of mental and physical ability, when the person actually has no ability to drive or do other things due to the alcohol floating around their blood stream.

Alcohol and caffeine can be good compounds, but they create a pretty large safety problem for the general population when they are sold together at the local 7-Eleven.

Danny Peters is a senior writing major from Fort Worth.