A Castleton student woke up on the floor, next to his loyal porcelain throne — naked. All because he drank two Four Lokos.
Four Loko is a new trend among college drinkers and costs about $2.50 for a 24-ounce can. It contains 12 percent alcohol mixed with an energy drink. According to an Aug. 26 CBS News article, it contains the same amount of alcohol as three beers and the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee and a Red Bull.
“Before they know it, they’ve consumed the equivalent of six beers, which their body is not accustomed to. All of a sudden the caffeine wears off and they are intoxicated,” said Dr. Melissa Wientraub in the CBS news article.
Some across the country are trying to get this product taken off the shelves. Rev. William ‘Rocky’ Brown III, the chairman of the Law Enforcement Chaplains of Delaware County with a background in alcohol counseling, is one. He was in shock when he went into a store and found Four Lokos placed next to soda.
“It is fueling violence that we see in the community,” Brown said.
Brown’s client, Mary Alice, had an encounter with Four Loko when her husband in his 40s drank two cans of it on Aug. 27. Brown said the man had hallucinations convincing him that he killed all of their seven children and needed to kill her and himself so they could be with their children. Throughout his hallucination he was crying.
“I have only seen my husband cry about s dozen times since we’ve been married, when our seven kids were born and when someone had died,” said Alice.
He had a blood alcohol level of .244.
“It is like acid in a can with Russian Roulette,” said Alice.
Brown is trying to make it illegal by publicizing Alice’s story and making parents aware of its dangers.
“It is liquid cocaine and we need to get it off the shelves,” said Brown.
At Castleton, there might be some support for a ban.
“Please make it illegal, it is like a hangover in a can,” said Castleton student Jenna Rae.
Rae said she normally enjoys drinking and the social experience that goes with it, but Four Loko made her black out and ruined a good night out with her friends because she couldn’t remember it.
Others, however, can’t wait to have it.
“The amount you pay for 12 percent alcohol is perfect for college students,” said Chiara Coppola who was on her way to buy two Four Loko’s for the night.
“No one knows what it is and it looks like an energy drink so you can openly walk around with it,” Coppola said.
In Philadelphia, people who drink it are considered crazy, said student Nyamah Thomas.
“It is called crack in a can there,” said Thomas.
The number of flavors to choose from was overwhelming to her the first night that she tried it. She ended up with fruit punch flavor and only a fourth of a can made her feel it. Her heart was pounding, she said. Thomas said she doesn’t advise drinking much of it you choose to try it.
“It is a different type of drunk,” she said, adding that it just makes Despite the danger though, Four Lokos don’t sit long in area stores.
One Castleton student who asked that her name not be used said she had to go to six different places in Castleton one night to find them. She and her friends ended up buying the last five at a gas station on Route 30.
“I read somewhere that they call it Four Loko because it brings you to four stages of crazy,” she said giggling. “The energy with the alcohol just gets you pumped up and makes it so you can run around while drunk.”
Beverage King does not carry these products, but the Mobil at the Four Corners does. Jean Hire, a cashier there, said they are literally flying off the shelves as soon as they are put up.
“I went to the back to put them on the shelves and I put four up and when I looked again they were gone,” Hire said.
That night she ended up selling more than 30 cans, all that was in stock. She said it is mostly college students who buy them.
Student Ryan Sweeney has been steering away from Four Lokos after hearing how bad they are. He whipped one from his fridge and began reading the ingredients.
“My advice is drink with caution and know your limit if you have to drink them,” said Sweeney, putting the can back in the fridge.