– The Loko Four energy drink is known as ‘blackout in a can’ or ‘liquid cocaine’.
‘Four Loko’, a mixture of alcohol and caffeine, has put universities and medical centers in the United States on alert, and has left several teenagers hospitalized.
“It’s a dangerous mix, doctors say, because caffeine hides the effects of alcohol, which doesn’t allow consumers to realize just how intoxicated they are,” published the The New York Times in an article explaining the dangers of this drink.
‘Four Loko’, which contains 12% alcohol and a caffeine equivalent of one cup of coffee, has sparked media interest after several cases of youngsters who have ended up in hospital after consuming it. One of the cases occurred in the Central Washington University. Nine students who took it were found unconscious by police, stated ‘The Washington Post’. Youngsters, aged between 17 and 19, had high levels of alcohol in the blood.
“It’s one of the most dangerous drinks I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Dr. Michael Reihart, who has treated several youth and adults who have been poisoned with “Four Loko ‘.
“It’s a can that leads to disaster, because after drinking alcohol the body’s natural reaction is to sleep, not drink more, but now you’re fooling the body with caffeine,” he said.
On the other hand, Chris Hunter, co-founder of ‘Phusion Projects’, a Chicago company with five years experience and the creator of ‘Four Loko’, said the drink, which was released in August 2008, was being unfairly stigmatized.
“The abuse of alcohol and consumption by minors is something that the whole industry should work on. Pointing at a single product will not solve anything. What is needed is an educated consumer,” said Hunter on his product, Four Loko, in The New York Times.