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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Four Loko: Alcohol Infused Energy Drink Sickens Students

An alcohol infused energy drink is under fire after dozens of college students in Washington were sickened by fruity flavored cocktail. A party in Central Washington police found students passed out all over the house and rushed nine to the hospital. The beverage is called Four Loko, which sell for about $2.50 each and has been nicknamed "blackout in a can", and it has an alcohol content of 12 percent and contains about as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, one drink is the equivalent of 6 light beers. "One girl was sitting on a bench and she fainted, and my friend and I were like, 'Oh my god, oh my god.' We rushed out to help her and I gave her CPR," said an anonymous student attending the party on Oct. 8th. "These people were still fighting for consciousness almost," the student said. "And their eyes were rolling back to their head, and I've just never seen anything like that."

Police initially thought that the sickened students had been given the date rape drug of some kind based on the level of intoxication witnessed at the party. However, toxicology reports showed that the students had no such drugs in their system and some students had lethal blood alcohol levels with blood alcohol contents of .33. One student that was rushed to the hospital actually suffered a heart attack because of the powerful energy drink. Central Washington has now joined a list of colleges that have banned drinks like Four Loko because of the dangers associated with the drinks.

Ever since energy drinks, like Redbull, hit the market, consumers have been mixing them with alcohol to achieve a jolt of energy why they are drinking alcohol which is a depressant. Now, companies have started mixing alcohol with energy ingredients, like Taurine, all in one can with a host of fruity flavors to choose from. "The problem is when you put all these things together, it's a nightmare," said Harris Stratyner, an addiction specialist, to "Good Morning America" today. "The caffeine may make you feel like you're not getting drunk as quickly so you may ingest more". There is now reason to put alcohol inside an energy drink unless a company is trying to market to young consumers like teenagers and college students. The FDA is now asking alcohol infused energy drink makers for justification for mixing alcohol and caffeine together.


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