Alcohol-based products triggering addiction – Part 3: Jello shot users likely to drink more

Teens and young adults seem to be attracted to these innocuous looking shots containing alcohol. One might wonder about the potential effects of these jello shots and whether they can cause addiction, if consumed frequently. The idea of creating jello shots stems from using gelatin in confectionary products. Jello shots are cups or cubes of alcoholic jelly made with flavored gelatin mix and a kind of hard liquor. The type of alcohol and its quantity decides the strength of the shots.

To understand the impact of consumption of jello shots on drinking habits in teenagers, the study, titled “Jello Shot Consumption Among Underage Youths in the United States,” was carried out in 2016 using a nation-wide survey of 1,031 adolescents aged between 13 and 20 years. The survey by the Boston University found that just over 20 percent had consumed jello shots in the past 30 days. This is due to recurrent consumption of jello shots either made at homes or sold in bars.

The study, published online in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse in February 2016, said that the incidence of consuming jello shots during the previous month was more among women than men. The prevalence was estimated to be 20.4 percent. The prevalence was found to be independent of any of the factors, including age, race or demography. It was found that the tendency to consume jello shots was more among those belonging to poor economic background apart from those with no access to internet.

Jello shot users consume more alcoholic beverages

The scientists also found that jello shot users were at a greater likelihood of drinking heavily as compared with those who did not take those shots. Jello shot users were drinking alcohol 2.2 days more each week than non-users.

Jello shot users consumed more alcoholic beverages every month, 30.9 drinks every month, as compared with an estimated 18.8 drinks each month for non-users.

The findings revealed a relation between consumption of jello shots and increased proclivity to engage oneself in physical fighting while drinking. A total of 18.7 percent jello shot users were reported to have got into a scuffle after consuming alcohol when contrasted with 9.5 percent non-users. The preferred alcohol used for making jello shots were bourbon and vodka.

Need for further research

The fact that the findings indicated risky behavior among jello shot users made it necessary for law enforcement agencies to include jello shot consumption to their existing surveillance systems used to measure alcohol use among the younger population.

Though the observations made could not pinpoint jello shot use to be a major cause of heavy drinking tendencies among the youth, co-author of the research Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health, said, “Jello shot consumption appears to be associated with riskier patterns of alcohol use and increased risk of adverse consequences, suggesting that specific interventions to address this consumption may be warranted as part of the effort to reduce risky alcohol use among youths.”

More research needs to be carried out to elucidate details of the association between jello shot consumption and risky drinking patterns.

Recovery road map

If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol, it’s time to seek professional assistance. One should not delay treatment or it can worsen the situation. Contact the 24/7Alcohol Addiction Get Help for evidence-based treatments on alcohol addiction. Call at our 24/7 alcohol addiction treatment helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online with our addiction treatment experts to know more about the best alcohol addiction treatment centers.

Read the other articles of the series, “Alcohol-based products triggering addiction”:

Part 1: Palcohol may contribute to alcohol addiction problem

Part 2: Americans drooling over boozy popsicles