Black-Out in a Can: Four Loko

Nine people became sick after consuming Four Loko, or black-out in a can, and other alcohol. Several states asked the FDA to decide whether caffeinated alcoholic beverages are safe.

Police were called to a supermarket parking lot. They found a girl passed out in the back seat of a car, boy next to her had a bloody nose. At the private house the two had just left, three girls laid on a bed, a barely conscious young man was being dragged out of the back-yard, another girl was face-down on the bathroom floor and three more young people were spread-out inside a car outside.

The site of the “party people,” most of them students at Central Washington University in nearby Ellensburg looked like they had been victims to a date rape drug.

Police and medical investigators have for the most part held the heavy consumption of Four Loko responsible, known as black-out in a can.

It is “upset…when our products are abused or consumed illegally by under aged drinkers,” Phusion Projects LLC of Chicago, which manufactures Four Loko, said in a statement.

“The real problem is the drinker thinks they’re more alert and less impaired than they actually are,” said David Schardt, senior nutritionist at the consumer advocacy group. “They keep drinking to the point of being in danger of alcohol poisoning. And that can lead to death.”

This week Central Washington University officials banned brews temporarily on campus.