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Controversial Drink Getting People Drunk Fast

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV
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CBS Boston (con't)

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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s sweet, fruity, and displayed in a rainbow of bright colors on liquor store shelves.

Experts say Four Loko’s packaging is deceptive, considering it can cause people to black-out. “One can is the same as drinking six shots of hard alcohol and five cups of coffee,” says Dr. John Kelly, an addiction specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “It could be potentially lethal.”

Attorney General Martha Coakley is looking into whether Four Loko violates any consumer protection laws.

It has caused concern across the country, especially at college campuses.

Earlier this month in Washington State, nine college students were rushed to the hospital.

Authorities thought they may have taken a date rape drug, but later found out they’d been drinking Four Loko. The Attorney General in Washington is now calling for an all-out ban on the drink.

In Boston, college students say it is popular. “One of these things is like $4.00 or something, and you’re pretty much drunk off of one, so it’s a bargain,” says Boston University student Adam Elessawi.

“It’s a whole night in one can,” adds sophomore Julia Mawdsley. “People think it’s easy and cheap.”

The distributor of Four Loko recently paid for a study that found the combination of caffeine and alcohol is safe. The Chicago-based company passed those findings on to the FDA.

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