Here’s a quick little midterm for you: you have $10 in your pocket, but you need to unwind at the end of midterm week.
A.) Blow all your cash on one drink at the swankiest club in town.
B.) Scour campus for a party and drink for free
C.) Stock up on cheap, flavored, and surprisingly strong cans of malt liquor.
I’m pretty sure everyone chose the last choice, and even though our little midterm isn’t graded, that answer is decidedly wrong. Four Loko is a popular new canned alcoholic beverage. Essentially an alcohol-fueled energy drink. Each can contains the equivalent of three beers, caffeine, and artificial flavoring, all for under $3. But the benefits of this cheapie drink are eclipsed by the serious threat it poses to students who intend to party hard.
Recently 23 Ramapo College students were hospitalized due to intoxication in just a few weeks – many of these incidents involved Four Loko. Currently, the president of the North Jersey school is banning this and similar beverages, and urging the leaders of other schools to do the same. We’ve all heard the warnings about cocktails like Red Bull and vodkas – the alcohol brings you down while the caffeine heightens your senses, confusing the body and making it difficult to determine just how intoxicated you are.
Four Loko is even more dangerous, as it’s fruity flavors make it easy to drink multiple cans quickly. In fact, the dangers of Four Loko are so severe that the drink is being dubbed “liquid cocaine.” The combined affects of alcohol and caffeine are even more frightening when you consider that both are diuretics, which can cause dehydration.
The possible consequences of drinks like these are undeniable: students can face hospitalization, injury, or overdose as a result of the seemingly harmless alcoholic energy drinks. Whether or not your campus chooses to ban these, we urge you to be as cautious as possible when it comes to drinking Four Loko. Or, play it safe and go for a $3 40 instead. It’s way more fun to drink out of a bag anyway….