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N.J. Students Deemed at Risk from Four Loko Alcohol Energy Drink

Twelve-percent alcohol and 135 milligrams of coffee packed into a 23.5-ounce can is what constitutes Four Loko, an obviously potent brew that has recently enamored a number of college students across the country looking to party.

Unfortunately, a byproduct of the beverage for many people is an underestimation of how high they are getting, and how quickly, which leads them to drink well beyond their capacities and arrive at extremely high blood alcohol concentrations before they realize they are even close to being drunk.

The risk of adverse consequences then abounds, from car accidents and sexual assaults to blackouts and - what many state authorities fear most - death.

Two New Jersey state senators recently wrote the presidents of 25 state colleges and universities, asking them to ban Four Loko from their campuses. Their catalyst for doing so was the incident that played out in September at Ramapo College, where close to two dozen students were hospitalized after drinking Four Loko.

A joint statement from Sens. Teresa Ruiz and Loretta Weinberg called the drink "an extremely potent combination of depressants and stimulants that can create a deceiving sense of sobriety leading to over-intoxication and blackouts."

That fear has already led to a complete banning of the drink in Michigan - where Four Loko was stated to be a factor in a sexual assault of a young girl - and in Washington state, where dozens of students at a college party were in such a comatose state that police officers thought they were under the influence of a date rape drug.

Ramapo has already banned Four Loko from its campus.

Related Resource: www.nj.com "N.J. senators ask colleges to ban caffeinated alcoholic beverage 'blackout in a can'" November 10, 2010

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