Substance abuse is marked by a maladaptive pattern of substance use manifested by recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to the repeated use of a substance (alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, heroin, MDMA, and others). The user may experience psychological and/or physical dependence and will notice that a tolerance to the substance has developed. Emotional, social, economic, and academic difficulties may be associated with the substance abuse.
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ALERT: AED (Alcohol Energy Drinks)
Pre-mixed “energy” drinks containing alcohol are appearing in stores. These drinks, such as Four Loko, are contributing to many injuries and deaths of college age students.
In the fall of 2010, over 25 college students in New Jersey, 9 in Washington State, and 7 in New York were hospitalized due to consuming this drink. In addition, deaths have occurred, including the death of an 18 year old girl from Long Island. Several states have banned the sale of these products and others are in the process of establishing a ban.
Four Loko comes in 9 sweet flavors. The average consumer is unaware of the ingredients in this product which contribute to its danger. The four main ingredients in Four Loko are alcohol, caffeine, guarana, and taurine. One 23 ½ ounce can of Four Loko has the equivalent alcohol content of 5 standard drinks of alcohol, and the caffeine equivalent of 6 standard cups of coffee. In addition, guarana is another source of caffeine and taurine is an amino acid which acts as a cardiac stimulant. Four Loko also contains 60 grams of sugar.
Consuming this product causes a rapid increase in blood alcohol concentration. The stimulants in the drink mask the effects but dangerous blood alcohol levels are occurring! The high amount of stimulants put a dangerous stress on the central nervous system, especially the heart. Consuming products like Four Loko is very dangerous. Making a healthy choice would be to avoid consuming all energy drinks.
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