America loses its mind over Four Loko; drink now blamed for "hallucinogenic frenzy," 21-year-old Courtney Spurry's death
In today's fun headlines, here's this winner from WJZ-TV: "Alcoholic Energy Drink Made Md. Woman 'Lose Mind'"
The station is of course talking about Four Loko, the caffeinated alcoholic drink with the catchy slogan ("Blackout in a can").
Their story comes after a 21-year-old woman died in Easton November 7 when she crashed her Ford pick-up truck on two utility poles. Reportedly, Courtney Spurry of St. Michaels had been drinking with girlfriends before the accident.
An autopsy has yet to be conducted, nor have police filed their report on the accident, but by Friday, Channel 13 had found the culprit in the caffeinated alcoholic drink.
Not only had Four Loko gotten the young woman drunk, it had also made her "lose her mind." The station came to its conclusion after it spoke with friends and relatives at the young woman's Thursday vigil.
"She changed that night," said Abby Sherwood, a friend of the victim. The girl's uncle also chimed in.
"Courtney, she was a little peanut. She was 4' 8", weighted 100 pounds," Lewis Spurry said. "So you can imagine drinking a couple of these drinks and all of a sudden she has no control of herself."
So this is new. On top of all the terrible effects that have been attributed to the energy drink, it can now also trigger someone's psychotic breakdown. It's not just a canned drink anymore, it's a devil serum.
It's official: we have now reached Four Loko hysteria saturation. America is having a collective freak-out over those 23.5-ounces of booze. Governor David Paterson told the manufacturer he doesn't want the drink in New York; four states have banned its sale; at least one media outlet has employed the phrase "war against Four Loko; and "We don't sell Four Loko" signs have quickly become a Tumblr meme.
Four Loko stories are beginning to sound like a scary movie's viral campaign. Next we'll hear it made a 75-year-old woman faint in a theater somewhere. It's a shame Steven Slater had his meltdown in October, he could have waited and just blamed Four Loko. You got a crazy story? Just peg it on Four Loko; it's all the rage.
WJZ isn't the only station going nuts over Four Loko. In Philadelphia, another CBS station reported the drink caused a suburban dad's "hallucinogenic frenzy."
As everyone rushes to condemn it, the drink is only becoming more fetishized among its target audience: college students. Over the weekend, CNN interviewed students at University of Maryland College Park who said they'll keep chugging it down despite the risks.
At least Maryland schools are having the right attitude about it. In separate interviews last month, four university representatives told Midnight Sun they are avoiding a knee-jerk ban that would only encourage more consumption and are instead urging moderation.
An extra challenge for commenters: report back with locations - or better yet, pictures - of any local bodegas or liquor stores that have posted "We have no Four Loko" signs.