Drink, Not Drugs, Sickened CWU Students At Roslyn - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Drink, Not Drugs, Sickened CWU Students At Roslyn; Read Statement From Gov. Gregoire

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) - An investigation has determined it was a high-alcohol caffeinated drink called Four Loko, not date-rape drugs, that sickened Central Washington University students at a party in Roslyn.

The university announced at a news conference Monday in Ellensburg that blood-alcohol content ranged from .12 percent to .35 percent.

Nine students were hospitalized after the Oct. 8 party at a house where about 50 people had been drinking.

Doctors say one can of Four Loko is equal to the amount of alcohol in an entire six pack of beer.  

Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement after learning several students at Central Washington University became dangerously sick after consuming alcohol-energy drinks:

"I'm very concerned that nine Central Washington University students became dangerously ill after drinking hard alcohol mixed with energy drinks. Consensus among the medical community is growing: combining alcohol with energy drinks is a dangerous mix.

"I am relieved that drugs were not secretly slipped into drinks, as many originally feared. However, I am concerned about the rapid market growth of pre-mixed alcohol energy drinks and their popularity with young people."

 "According to the United States Tobacco and Trade Bureau, alcohol is the nation's number one drug problem among youth. It is involved in teen car crashes, homicides and suicides, the three leading causes of teen death. Adding caffeine or other stimulants may increase risk to teens because it inhibits the perception of being intoxicated and could mislead them into thinking they can drink more or drive.

"Additionally, a leading study by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine found students who consumed alcohol with energy drinks were ‘twice as likely to be injured, twice as likely to require medical attention and twice as likely to ride with an intoxicated driver.'

"I approved the Liquor Control Board's 2010 request for legislation (House Bill 2804 sponsored by Rep. Tami Green) that would have banned stimulant-enhanced products that are pre-mixed with alcohol. While that bill did not pass the Legislature, I have asked the board to continue to work this issue and recommend a solution."

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