PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some are calling it “liquid cocaine.” Others say it’s “black out in a can.” Four Loko is often guzzled to get a quick buzz, and it’s become a popular drink, especially on college campuses.
“Most people that I know who have had it get extremely intoxicated,” said Caitlin Harrington, a Temple University student.
“It can get people knocked out pretty quickly,” said Jason Arceo, a Temple University student.
“I think it’s pretty dangerous,” said Sarah Adden, a Temple University student. She says after she drank just one of the fruity flavor drinks, she felt drunk and energized, which wasn’t a good mix.
“I blacked out I guess, and just went to bed, woke up really sick,” said Sarah.
Four Loko contains up to 12 percent alcohol, which is equivalent to drinking between four to six cans of beer with a jolt of caffeine.
Many doctors say the potent mix of depressants and stimulants is simply too dangerous.
“You raise your heart rate, you increase blood flow, you become more aware, awake, your nerves get jittery,” said Dr. Kris Kaulback, the Trauma Medical Director at Paoli Hospital.
Earlier this month, a 19-year-old went to Temple University Hospital’s Emergency Room after drinking Four Loko. The hospital tells Eyewitness News he suffered a heart attack.
It’s being banned from one New Jersey college. And officials at a university in Washington state are investigating after nearly a dozen students went to the hospital after drinking Four Loko at a party.
It’s a concern that has Stephanie Ives, Dean of Students for Temple University, taking action.
“We have had a few incidents and so our emphasis right now is to enhance our education and prevention programs to educate students about any high risk products such as this,” said Stephanie.
Four Loko is sold with other alcoholic beverages and costs just $3.
The maker defends its products and tells CBS-3 no one is more upset than they are when their products are abused or consumed illegally by underage drinkers. They say that is unacceptable.
Reported By: Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3