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Nine Washington freshmen hospitalized after drinking Four Loko

Jenna Johnson

Earlier this month police found nine Central Washington University freshmen passed out or sick. At first they thought the students had been drugged.

Turns out, they had been drinking Four Loko.

FourlokoAPPic.JPGFour Loko is a fruity energy drink with 12 percent alcohol that pack the punch of about three beers, a can of Red Bull and a large espresso. The 23.5 oz cans sell for less than three bucks each and come in 10 flavors, including blue raspberry and fruit punch.

Students also call them "black-outs in a can" and "liquid cocaine."

The drinks (or alcoholic energy drinks in general) have been banned on at least two university campuses, the Associated Press reports, and Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna is calling for the drinks to be banned. The Food and Drug Administration has been asked by several officials to review the safety of the beverages.

At the Central Washington University party, the students were taken to the hospital with blood-alcohol levels between 0.12 percent to 0.35 percent -- keep in mind that 0.30 percent is considered life-threatening. That night they had been drinking vodka, rum, beer and Four Loko, and no drugs were found in their systems, the AP reported.

The students ranged in age from 17 to 19, and reported being inexperienced drinkers. One of the female students almost died, the AP reported.

Four Loko is produced by Phusion Projects Inc., of Chicago. The company said in a statement that people have safely combined caffeine and alcohol for years.

You can read my previous blog post about Four Loko hitting college campuses, here. BlogPost also wrote about it, here. And you can read the full AP story, here.

Photo by Gordon King/AP/Yakima Herald-Republic.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | October 26, 2010; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  Night Life  | Tags:  Four Loko, University of Central Washington  
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