In a previous post, we shared the results of an investigation into the hospitalization of 9 students of Central Washington University this month, which pointed to a caffeinated energy drink called Four Loko as the reason for the students’ illness.
This was not the first time that Four Loko has been implicated in cases of alcohol poisoning. Last month, 23 students from Ramapo College in New Jersey also ended up in the hospital, again after consuming Four Loko.
A report on the New York Times looks further into the dangers of the drink as well as others like it. Doctors have given the opinion that the combination of alcohol and caffeine in the drinks is dangerous, because caffeine covers up the effects of alcohol. As a result, those who drink it do not realize how drunk they already are.
Dr. Michael Reihart, an ER doctor at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, told the Times: “It’s a recipe for disaster because your body’s natural defense is to get sleepy and not want to drink, but in this case you’re tricking the body with the caffeine.” According to Reihart, he has treated more than a dozen people in the past three months because of Four Loko.
Dr. Peter Mercer, the president of Ramapo College in New Jersey, said: “I do not see any socially redeeming purpose being served by these beverages. At the end of the day, they’re aimed at a young, inexperienced market for the purpose of enabling them to become rapidly intoxicated.”