Connecticut Bans Four Loko Beverage Sales

 

 

 

Four Loko has been banned in Michigan, New York, Oklahoma and Washington state. It has been suspended from shelves in Connecticut.

It has been affectionately dubbed as “blackout in a can.”

Every 23.5 ounces can of Four Loko contains the equivalent of 4.7 beers’ worth of alcohol and an unspecified amount of stimulants, including caffeine, taurine, and guarana, according to information found on the manufacturer’s website, www.drinkfour.com.

The beverage, which is marketed as an “alcoholic energy drink,” contains 12 percent alcohol by volume.

It has been banned in the states of Washington, Oklahoma, Michigan, Utah, New York, and has been suspended from stores in Connecticut.

It has also been barred from several schools, including the University of Rhode Island, Central Washington University, and Ramapo College, due to concerns over impact the drink has on the health of consumers.

Recently, the producer of Four Loko, Phusion Products, announced its intent to remove all caffeine, guarana, and taurine from the Four Loko product line in a statement issued on Nov. 16.

Student Reactions and Health Concerns

Bans and plans aside, the drink has entered the Staples scene with gusto.

One junior male Staples student who was granted anonymity due to the nature of the subject, detailed his experience with the beverage.

“The sensation you normally get with alcohol, the ‘drunk feeling,’ so to speak, was accelerated by the [Four] Loko. My friends and I were freaking out,” he said.

The student also said that the potential effects of Four Loko on a person depend on how much of it is consumed.

“The amount of Four Loko I drank made me feel extremely anxious, and jittery. I had two cans in one sitting, taken straight, and to be honest the biggest mistake I made was drinking two,” he said.

However, a senior female Staples student, who was also granted anonymity due to risk of self-incrimination, disagrees with the notion that Four Loko does not inherently produce harmful effects.

“I only had a small amount of Four Loko, much less than one can, and it was diluted with ice cream. Still, what I consumed made me feel racy and out of control. That drink really does make you ‘go loco,’” she said.

Libby Russ, a nurse at Staples, expressed how the ingredients of Four Loko would have an effect beyond that of simple alcohol intoxication.

“It’s difficult to predict the exact result of combining the stimulants in Four Loko with its alcohol content, but one can could certainly hinder decision-making skills. The large amounts of caffeine purported to be in Four Loko may also give the drinker an initial energy buzz, which would prevent realization of how much he or she has consumed. In any case, large doses of caffeine are terrible for the heart,” Russ said.

While researchers and the Food and Drug Administration investigate the health implications of caffeinated alcoholic beverages, for some students the nature of the drinks has already hit home.

Another male Staples junior, who also was granted anonymity due to the nature of the subject, had a relative suffer ill health effects due to the intake of Four Loko.

“Last Saturday, my cousin was at a party and had several Four Lokos. He was in the middle of ‘shotgunning’ another one when he collapsed, went into seizure, and eventually went into cardiac arrest. He was hospitalized for two days,” he said.

Why Do Students Go Loko?

As Four Loko has become increasingly popular among underage drinkers, the question of why this beverage has been selected as one of choice still remains.

According to the first anonymous male student, Four Loko’s caffeine content is what makes it a prime asset to bring to the party.