Four Loko

Four I'm kicking myself. Jeremy T. told me about Four Loko a few weeks ago, after his college president banned it from campus. I've been meaning to blog about this brew for weeks and now it's all over the news. Ugh. I like to be first.

What is Four Loko? It's a soft drink, developed by some enterprising former students from OSU, which combines the best of alchohol and caffeine. According to ABC, it "combines as much alcohol found in a six pack of beer with as much caffeine in five cups of coffee". You're drunk, but you're wired. It has been called "blackout in a can."

Maybe Charlie Sheen can claim that he was drunk on Four Lokos when he trashed the hotel room at the Plaza, while naked and with a hooker.


10 thoughts on “Four Loko

  1. This sort of thing was tried several years ago and went no where. Maybe it will work now. They had similar things (in every possible combination- vodka and coffee, for example) in Russia when I lived there, too. Their main drawback was that they were gross. (I did have some student friends there who were fond of the 2lt bottle of gin and tonic, though.) My expectation is a short, hype and hysteria boom followed by a Zima-like slow decline.

  2. I have trouble believing this is really introducing something different in KIND from other stupid drinking behaviors. I mean, someone who’s intent on getting super blind drunk can pound some coffee along the way if they want to stay more alert.
    The part in the article where they said such and such a kid had one of these potions “and then several shots of tequila” made me think “and it’s the can of swill that’s to blame?”

  3. So, do we think stupid drinking behaviors have gone up or down in college since colleges started taking on the responsibility enforcing drinking bans on campus?
    When I lived in a dorm, underage drinking was ignored. We had a “beer fridge” where anyone could sign out beer, and keg parties, where seniors bought the kegs and let everyone in the dorm (who were all underage) drink. After a drinking incident at my campus involving high school students (and a big party in which lots of campus wide drinking occurred), the school shut down these behaviors (well, at least officially). My guess is that the beer fridges moved off campus, as well as the keg parties.
    My suspicion is that these changes just made a different set of problem behaviors, rather than diminishing them.
    Kind of agreeing with Marya’s comment, that the methods are the minor part of the problem. But, I’m really wondring if there are any studies on problem drinking behavior in college and what changes have occurred from the 80’s to the 10’s.

  4. College kids really should drink beer. They aren’t (usually) experienced and self-controlled enough for liquor. If they have money for wine, they are probably building-up too much in student loans.

  5. There was a “girls passed out” incident at Central Washington U. that’s currently being attributed to Four Loko (and not rohypnol). Not sure if that’ll be the final take, but that’s the current thought on the culprit.
    14+ girls were found passed out at a party somewhere.
    So, it’s conceivable that there’s some issue. Caffeine is tasteless, so it is possible to make a caffeine spiked alcohol that might avoid the “tastes icky” issue that generally prevents people from combining the two drugs (though they could still do it with pills + drinks).

  6. I think the stat at Ramapo was that while generally, they had 30 hospitalizations for alcohol poisoning a year, they exceeded that in the first month of the semester this year. This concoction seems to be qualitatively different than binge beer drinking.

  7. All this is Redbull and Vodka in a can. Ingesting Jet Fuel is no longer appealing but I would love to try some of this just to see how crappy it tastes. From Mad Dog to Night Train to Four Loko, it’s not about the taste of what is there.
    How do you prevent this? Do you give the kids more classes or more stuff to do during the day? Hardly going to stop them.

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