A British mom is speaking out about the dangers of energy drinks after developing an addiction “worse than that of heroin” that left her on the verge of diabetes and forcing her to get a pacemaker — all by the time she was 32.
“The drinks made my heart beat faster, which would cause palpitations, then after I would crash when I needed another one,” Samantha Sharpe told Leicestershire Live. “It would give me headaches, I’d be grumpy, and I’d need another one to keep me good.
“I felt like an addict to the stuff.”
The mom-of-three started pounding five to six of the sugar-packed drinks every day starting in 2014 to keep up with her childcare and her then-job as a cleaner.
“I have three children and I work so it was daily life that pushed me to drinking the energy drinks,” Sharpe told the outlet. “I work in the evenings so it got me through the day.”
But Sharpe’s body grew dependent on the drinks, leaving her plagued by insomnia and constantly in search of her next sip.
“I wouldn’t sleep and I had an overwhelming feeling of doom when trying to sleep,” she said. “It’s something I haven’t experienced before, which made me want another one.”
Sharpe began to suffer kidney stones, and was told she was on the precipice of Type Two diabetes — but it was the blackouts that finally made her see the light.
“I went to the doctor over a year ago because I kept blacking out at home,” recalled Sharpe. “I had a first-degree heart blockage and it then extended to second degree.”
Sharpe had a pacemaker implanted through a vein in her leg.
“My sister, who is a nurse, said the addiction is worse than that of heroin, which I can understand because I needed it to help me be awake,” said Sharpe.
Now 33, working as a bartender and off the sugary stuff, Sharpe “has a new lease on life,” and wants to make sure no one else goes through what she did.
“The effects of energy drinks need to be advertised more,” she told Leicestershire Live. “I think everyone knows they aren’t good for you — but no one has ever said why they aren’t.”
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