Alcoholic energy drink causing a buzz

November 9, 2010 4:44:52 AM PST
It's been called 'liquid cocaine' and 'blackout in a bottle' and now there are calls to ban it.Four Loko comes in colorful cans and costs just under $3.

One can contains 12 percent alcohol, which is almost equivalent to six beers, and the caffeine from the drink is the same as five cups of coffee. The drink has quickly become the new beverage of choice on many college campuses.

"I've only had it a couple times, but people I've seen that drink it ... they usually get really drunk," a UNC student said. "Most people blackout - especially if they have more than one."

Just last week, ABC11 Eyewitness News spoke with a local girl who drank Four Loko, blacked out, and got charged with underage drinking.

The drink has gotten to be such a big concern across the country that some colleges are banning it on campus, but advocates say even that is not enough.

"When you have five beers, four cups of coffee - 660 calories in a $3 can - then you have a formula for not only a party, but serious health concerns," said Bert Wood, CEO of Drug Free NC.

Universities are catching wind of the drink. Some have banned it after reports of students binge drinking and passing out after consuming Four Loko.

Officials at UNC, NC State and Duke universities all tell ABC11 they've heard of the drink, but none are considering bans.

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