Due to a recent occurrence of student hospitalizations across the country,
a growingly popular alcoholic beverage among teens and college students is receiving scrutiny from both government agencies and university administrations.
Four Loko, a fruity flavored alcoholic energy drink, was banned in Michigan last week marking the first of what could be many statewide bans.
Washington state governor Chris Gregoire has said that the state's liquor control board intends to ban the sale of all caffeinated energy drinks this week after a young woman nearly died last month from consuming such beverages
The University of Rhode Island and Ramapo College in New Jersay have banned Four Loko from their campuses. An influx of Four Loko-related alcohol poisoning cases among their students this fall prompted Ramapo's decision.
The beverage, of which the safety of has been in question with the Food and Drug Administration since last year, contains the alcoholic content of multiple beers along with the caffeine equivalent to a 12 oz. cup of coffee.
The dangers of mixing alcohol, which is a depressant, along with a stimulant like those found in Four Loko have been examined for decades. Fundamentally, the caffeine can serve to temporarily nullify the effects of the alcohol, potentially hindering consumers from gauging what is a safe amount of consumption.
Four Loko has recently become notorious for having copious amounts of both alcohol and caffeine compared to other similar drinks. It has even spurred its own website where users can read / post / and vote on their resultant misadventures from overconsuming it.
The makers of Four Loko, which has been on the shelves of gas stations and convenience stores since 2005, have said that their product is no different than an Irish Coffee or a bourbon with soda.
At least one thing is different, however, neither Irish Coffees nor Jack and Cokes have ever caused this much controversy on the public health scene.
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