Some St. Joe's students were sent to the hospital after drinking Four Loko, but the school won't say when it happened or talk about how many students, except to say that it was "a handful."
Four Loko is the popular and controversial energy-alcohol hybrid drink that Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board has asked distributors to stop sellling. Downing one Four Loko is like drinking four beers and three cups of coffee.
Four Loko is becoming more popular on campus, the school's newspaper, The Hawk, reports. Local doctors have told the school they've seen "an uptick in the blood-alcohol levels" of students they've treated and the information is also coming from sick students.
"We ask people what they had to drink, so the [emergency room] doctors knows what to do, and we started seeing Four Loko come up as something that people had been ddrinking that got them to the point where they needed hospitalization," Cary Anderson, vice president of the Office of Student Life, told the school paper.
Last month, nine students were hospitalized in Washington after drinking Four Loko at an off-campus party.
"It's like two to three [drinks] and then they're just blackout drunk," said Chris Fascenelli, who knows other college kids who've tried it. "It gets real terrible, lik real fast."
Phusion Projects, maker of Four Loko, was started by three college friends from Ohio State University in 2005. The company says it's producers "are not energy drink, as they've been callaed -- and when consumed responsibly, they are just as safe as any other alcoholic beverages." Just this week the company posted an open letter on their website to state and federal regulators saying they were open to discussing the concerns about mixing caffeine and alcohol, but that they shouldn't be singled out -- that any restrictions should apply to the "entire caffeinated alcoholic beverage category -- not specific, individual projects and not just beers or malt-based products."