New research shows that college students who regularly drink energy drinks with high caffeine levels are at risk to become alcohol dependent.

The author of the study Amelia M. Arria, director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development in the department of family science at the school of public health at University of Maryland said that those who consumed these energy drinks every week show signs of alcohol dependency.

These students are unable to stop drinking even though they are aware of the negative consequences of drinking too much of these unregulated drinks.

Many students are known to have this to fight sleep, so that they can study. Few are known to also do the dangerous thing of mixing alcohol with the drinks which puts them in a zombie like state.

The study tracked nearly 1,100 seniors enrolled at a large public US university. The researchers focused on regular energy drinks and not those energy drinks already laced with alcohol like Four Loko, which is banned in some states due to ill effect on health of young students. "We do think that when you drink energy drinks you prolong your alcohol consumption and drink past the point of intoxication because you're awake longer, which leads to bad consequences," Arria said.

The study looked at the consumption pattern of the energy drinks and alcohol and their impact on the drinker. The high drinkers of energy drinks were also found to drink more quantities of alcohol. They also got drunk at a younger age and drank more alcohol per session.