Four Loko, a relatively new adult beverage on the market that contains up to 12% alcohol per can (depending on flavor) has been getting a lot of press in the media this last week. The attention it’s garnering is well deserved. It has been pinpointed as a culprit in dozens of hospitalizations at several north east colleges since schools have kicked into fall semester this year.
This is an alcohol-laced energy drink equivalent to at least three beers, a can of Red Bull and a shot of espresso. It comes in a 24 oz. can that to me looks like a typical energy drink except for the small print 12% ABV.
Both Fox News and Huffington Post websites have stories detailing the hospitalizations and the efforts to educate the youth on the dangers of this product. I applaud both articles, but being an alcoholic and working with people of their target consumer age, I wonder if the attention will do more harm than good. I bet that the manufacturers of this product are wondering how this bad press will play out. Will it be bad enough to get their product outlawed or will it be the kind of bad press that makes people just want to try it even more. In this situation it might be a case of any press is good press. You just have to do a couple of searches on the web to find articles on websites such as FARK with hundreds of comments extolling on how great an experience chugging a Four Loko can be. There are more than one facebook pages for the product – one in particular demanding it in keg form – http://www.facebook.com/pages/WE-WANT-FOUR-LOCO-IN-A-KEG/108542252522752. OMG indeed.
Four Loko’s creators must be given credit – they have a sophisticated website http://www.drinkfour.com/ that does a little bit of CYA with an awesome “Responsible Drinking Page” that may come in handy in future legal matters. It’s also interesting to note that the creators of Four Loco are three college friends from The Ohio State University that had the entrepreneurial idea to start their own company. I wonder which one of them came up with the formula. Large amounts of caffeine, taurine, guarana, and alcohol. A legal version of the infamous speedball. Brilliant.
And if you think I’m guilty or hypocritical in posting an article on this nefarious product; perhaps I am. But your on an addiction and recovery website aren’t you? Please check out what we have to offer here…stories and tips on sobriety. I’ll keep you posted on this killer product as I’m sure more news will be forthcoming.