Energy Drink Being Used as Date Rape Drug

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Four Loko, the alcoholic energy drink, is back in the news and it’s still not good.

The energy drink first appeared in headlines in October 2010 when nine Washington college students were hospitalized after drinking it at a party. After being pressured by the FDA, Phusion Projects, the maker of Four Loko, reformulated the drink to contain less caffeine and stimulants.

In 2011, after being accused of deceptive advertising by the FTC, Phusion Projects changed the packaging, though they stated they disagreed with the FTC’s charges.

In 2012, a North Carolina woman spoke out on behalf of her daughter, who had been raped after being given Four Loko. The girl told her mother “the guys didn’t drink this drink. They drank another kind of beer and the girls got drunk really quick.” She said she noticed her surroundings had gotten out of control and locked herself in the bathroom, unlocking the door after being threatened to be shot if she didn’t. After that, she said, she passed out and woke up to find herself being raped.

Now in 2014, Four Loko is being called a date rape drug again. A sexual assault treatment center in Indiana said several women have come forward for treatment. The women said they were raped after drinking Four Loko. Spokesperson for the Sexual Assault Treatment Center Lori Hunt stated that

“the incidents we’ve had it’s almost being used as though it’s a date rape drug. Just in the last week, we’ve seen two incidents of this.”

Hunt also stated she was worried that other women had been taken advantage of using this drink but hadn’t come forward for treatment. “We’re very concerned that rapes have already occurred and we’re trying to stop it, let people know about this so they don’t take this.”

A study by LaSalle University found that a 23.5 ounce can cause people to blackout, be hyper-vigilant, have extreme mood swings, and develop alcohol poisoning. Four Loko contains the equivalent of four cans of beer in alcoholic content, and the equivalent of two tall cups of coffee in caffeine.