Getting Drunk on $5

Last Updated Oct 27, 2010 3:10 PM EDT

Drinking too much makes most people sleepy. There is a significant benefit to this. If you're asleep, you can't chug another beer or down another tequila shot.

But what if you could get drunk and get pumped up with caffeine at the same time? You could keep drinking longer before you pass out.

If this sounds like a great idea, you're probably a college student. And you probably have already heard about these cheap alcoholic energy drinks packed with caffeine that I've seen described as tasting like a pack of liquid Sweet Tarts and "vomit inducingly disgusting."

Four Loko, is the most notorious bad boy among of these caffeine-hyped malt liquors that some call blackout in a can and liquid crack. I can see why kids would love the fruit-flavored Four Loko beverages which are sold in whopping 23.5-ounce cans. "You can get drunk for $5 all night," one student at Boston University explained to The New York Times.

The Four Loko marketers hit the jackpot when Ramapo College and Central Washington University banned Four Loko from their campuses after some of their students ended up in emergency rooms. With this week's press coverage of Four Loko, I bet even more students will be drinking Four Loko, which has the alcohol content comparable to four beers, at campus parties on the weekend.

Maybe other college campuses will ban drinks like Four Loko and Joose, but I can't imagine that this will help. Colleges and universities already ban underage drinking and we all know how well that's working.

College students do really stupid things including drinking until they puke. And as long as college adminstrators pay lip service to stopping drinking on their campuses, students will get drunk on whatever they can get their hands on. As parents, I think all we can hope is that our kids will survive their college years.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog.
Four Loko image by Joe Mud. CC 2.0.

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