Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Yellow Wood Commission

Campus Life

Four Loko Warning

Posted on November 2, 2010

Currently, there is a lot of media attention about the drink Four Loko and the attendant side effects characterized as “black out in a can.” This morning’s Boston Globe includes an article titled Colleges Sound Warning on Four Loko. I have included a web-link to this article below and encourage you to read it. The piece provides a good overview of why college administrators, health professionals, and even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are concerned about the potential risks of Four Loko and other similar products that contain high amounts of alcohol and caffeine. 

The fact that a Wheaton student recently received emergency room treatment for alcohol poisoning believed related to using Four Loko, underscores the real dangers of mixing alcohol and caffeine. One 23 ounce can of Four Loko contains the alcohol equivalent of four 12 ounce beers and 156 milligrams of caffeine (nearly equal to the caffeine in 3 Mountain Dews). The danger here is not just the alcohol content, but rather, the combination of high amounts of alcohol and caffeine.

We strongly recommend that you stay away from these types of drinks and avoid mixing alcohol with other caffeine containing beverages. Here are some reasons why:

Five reasons why mixing caffeine or energy drinks with alcohol is a really bad idea.*
1.    Mixing caffeine and alcohol can increase the risk of alcohol poisoning. Since caffeine makes people feel “less drunk” than they really are, they tend to drink more than they should.
2.    Mixing alcohol and caffeine can make your heart rate and blood pressure rise.
3.    Caffeine can make you feel energetic even if you’re drunk. Why is this dangerous? Because people can be “tricked” into thinking they are alert enough to do things like drive a car, when they really aren’t.
4.    Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, leading to dehydration (and really bad hangovers).
5.    Adding caffeine to alcohol can make drinking alcohol all the more addictive.

We share this information to encourage you to be smart and safe if and when you use alcohol. If you see someone using alcohol in a way that makes you concerned they could hurt themselves or someone else, please help them or call for help.

For information on alcohol poisoning and ways to avoid alcohol risk, click on the following link:


Boston Globe: Colleges sound warning on Four Loko


*Source: AlcoholEDU

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