Alcoholic Energy Drinks Banned at Jersey College
New Jersey’s Ramapo College is banning alcoholic energy drinks after several students were hospitalized. The students had been drinking Four Loko, a beverage that contains caffeine, other energy-boosting ingredients and 12 percent alcohol. Many students see the stimulating drinks as an inexpensive way to get drunk fast and stay up all night.
The ban took effect October 1st, after 23 students were hospitalized within the same week, a portion of whom had been consuming Four Loko. “There’s no redeeming social purpose to be served by having the beverage,” said college president Peter Mercer. Fox News reports that Mercer is also encouraging other New Jersey colleges to follow suit.
The FDA has been investigating whether drinks containing both alcohol (a depressant) and stimulants are safe, particularly when the feelings of intoxication can mask other symptoms. Research conducted at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that cocktails containing Red Bull are more dangerous than alcohol alone. Anheuser-Busch has already agreed to reformulate Sparks, a similar alcoholic beverage.
“These products have higher levels of alcohol content in them, higher levels of caffeine in them,” said Steven Schmidt, a spokesman for the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. “There’s a lot of concern about whether combining these two is a good idea.”
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