Four Loko, Eight Loko, Twelve Loko? The popular boozy energy drink is attracting more than its fair share of headlines in the news lately, especially among college students who have access to these 12% alcohol bombs. Infused with caffeine, taurine, and guarana, Four Loko is garnering nicknames such as “liquid cocaine” or “blackout in a can,” which prompted a string of negative stories from local news stations to CBS.
Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah recently banned the substance on campus after almost two dozen students were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning right after the fall semester began. The Loko has also found its way into high schools throughout the local area, with a number of teenagers found drunk off the controversial product. Authorities on campuses around the country are calling for the product to be banned as coverage continues to increase, but Ramapo is one of the first colleges to essentially outlaw Four Loko. Central Washington University might be next, after a particularly wild party spun out of control, leaving nine students hospitalized, and even more passed out or unconscious.
Packaged in 23.5 ounce cans and available in fruity, sweet flavors such as fruit punch, blue raspberry, and cranberry lemonade, Four Loko appears to be the latest over-the-top beverage for college students. While past caffeinated malt beverages like Joose, Tilt, and Sparks created some controversy, nothing seems to compare to the whirlwind surrounding the recent incidents linked to Four Loko, including assault, rape, and alcohol poisoning. College parties are supposed to be wild, loud, and high energy, but this is one alcoholic fuel which might not be on the shelves much longer.