Last week, my daughter went to a frat party while visiting a friend at college. When I asked her the following morning what people were drinking, she told me that they’d been drinking Four Lokos, also known as “blackout in a can.”
It seemed like only minutes after she told me, Four Loko and the other companies that have been producing alcoholic beverages combining alcohol and caffeine were plastered all over the headlines.
In his “Tipsy Diaries” column, Frank Bruni described the beverage as a “flavored malt liquor that has caffeine as well as alcohol: a double whammy that permits its consumers — users might be a more felicitous term — to keep drinking longer and later than they would normally be able to in their inebriated states.”
Explained that way, it doesn’t sound so bad. But in actuality, Four Loko and its similar “cousins” revealed their dangerous impact when they caused several incidents in which “dozens of college students have been treated for alcohol poisoning after overindulging in Four Loko and similar products, and several states and universities then banned the drinks,” according to a piece in the Washington Post.
New York State Senator Chuck Schumer described the drinks as “dangerous and toxic brews.” And subsequently, the Food and Drug Administration deemed the alcoholic energy drinks unsafe and illegal.
I don’t know about you, but I’d say that caffeine has its role, and alcohol another. And now it seems that never the two shall meet–legally, anyway.