Alcoholic energy drink nicknamed 'liquid cocaine'

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

(WFLX) - It's cheap, strong and some people say they don't remember anything after drinking it.

Now, dozens of attorney generals are investigating the beverage which, some say, is becoming popular with teens looking for a quick buzz.

It's 12 percent caffeine alcohol; that's 140 percent more alcohol than a bottle of beer.

Four Loko is the new popular drink among young people, and it's earned a nickname "liquid cocaine".

Students say the price tag and the promise of a quick buzz make an attractive combination. "It's like you're awake and drunk at the same time," one college student described.

But drinking this -- just like drinking any other alcoholic beverage -- can have serious side effects. In St. Petersburg, Florida last month, a man and his three sons were killed by a DUI driver who admitted to police he had been drinking Four Loko.

Moreover, teenagers across the country have been reporting getting violently ill from alcoholic energy drinks.

After an FDA investigation into caffeine alcohol drinks last year, some of the bigger companies decided to pull their versions of these beverages off the marketplace. However, Phusion Projects, the maker of Four Loko, says they have no plans to pull their product from shelves.

One California lawmaker tried to outlaw these kinds of drinks in that state, but it did not pass.

Phusion Projects claims an independent medical panel reviewed the product, and that report has been submitted to the FDA. The company denies that the mixture of caffeine and alcohol is unsafe.

Four Loko has 12 percent alcohol. That's the same as drinking four and a half 12 ounce beers.

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