The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Four Loko: blackout in a can


A colorful can containing a beverage that tastes like carbonated sewer water is being blamed for the hospitalization of numerous college students. This sugary alcoholic beverage, Four Loko, is said to be especially attractive to college and high school students.

Recently the alcoholic beverage Four Loko has been under fire. Some colleges like Harvard have banned the drink and the state of Michigan banned the drink across the board, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Opponents of Four Loko claim it is a product of the devil — a way that students can get drunk: very drunk, very fast. According to Mayo Clinic, drinking a Four Loko is like drinking a cup of coffee plus almost six Bud beers.

Some people blame the colorful can, which does contain warnings, for attracting the younger crowd. I know that it is nonsense.

I thought I had reached a plateau in my drinking career until I was introduced to Four Loko. Then things became real.

On my first Four Loko night, by the end of the second can I was speaking in tongues, texting my ex, and woke up in a bed that was not my own. Without a doubt, it is “blackout” in a can. And all this was attained for under $10, which is arguably far more attractive to college students than the colorful can.

It is a little silly when colleges, churches and the media seize on the opportunity to knock Four Loko and blame its existence for students making bad decisions.

College students are adults. The minute alcohol or any other mind-altering substance enters their bodies, they lose their common sense. They lose motor functions. They lose the ability to make decisions.

Recently a car drove through the back of my house. I did not wonder if the driver was consuming Four Loko, rather I realized that the driver must have been under the influence.

Whether or not Four Loko is behind students acting out, or having to be hospitalized, it is clearly a very potent drink and not to be taken lightly. By the same breath, all alcohol has the possibility to have the same effect on students and adults or minors — whether or not they have caffeine.

Blaming alcohol abuse on one company does not negate the fact that as students we can actively make decisions and take the consequences. Anything less is escapism and passing the buck by blaming a company, which is nothing but denial of our responsibility. 

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