Four Loko endangers students

first_imgFour Loko, the new popular caffeinated malt beverage with an alcohol content of 12 percent, has taken college campuses around the country by storm, and Notre Dame is no exception. “We do know that students are using Four Loko and a lot of cases related to this drink have come up recently,” Kelly Lawrence, assistant director of the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education, said. “I’ve heard it described as ‘cocaine in a can’ and I think that makes it more enticing to students.” Lawrence said the most dangerous thing about Four Loko is the added pressure it puts on the heart. “Students need to realize that Four Loko mixes a stimulant and a depressant, which are meant to have opposite effects,” he said. “The combination of the two things tends to mask how intoxicated you really are.” Lawrence said he thinks most students who drink Four Loko utilize the beverage as “a part of their ‘pre-game’ ritual.” “Judging by my conversations with students, Four Loko seems to be the first drink of the evening for most people,” he said. “Obviously the preference would be for students not to use it at all, but we do want to get involved in some type of dialogue and talk about why they are [using it].” Drinking Four Loko facilitates higher levels of intoxication, which increases students’ risk of legal and disciplinary problems, Lawrence said. “My sense is that students do know it’s dangerous,” he said. “But there’s this invulnerability where they think ‘nothing is going to happen to me.’” Junior Meghan Donoghue, 21, said Four Loko is popular among many of her friends. “I think people initially thought it was something that would get them drunk really fast and that’s where all the hype came from,” she said. Donoghue said she thinks drinking Four Lokos has become about bragging rights for many students. “People want to say ‘oh, I shotgunned a Four Loko’ or ‘I drank three in an hour,’” she said. Despite the health risks associated with Four Loko, Donoghue said none of her friends have discontinued their consumption of the drink. Lawrence said the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education is not currently advocating any policy change or du Lac amendment related to student consumption of Four Lokos, but the Office will continue to educate students on the dangers of mixing alcohol and energy drinks. “We are all involved in educating students about the effects of the beverage and the risk factors,” he said. “And because it is a general concern as well, we have been generating discussion on Four Loko in our various education groups over the last few weeks.”last_img read more

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Rio de Janeiro hurries to prepare big New Year’s Eve party to open Golden Decade

first_img Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second-largest city, announced that it is preparing a party that will pull out all the stops to ring in 2011 as the start of what it considers its “Golden Decade,” in which it will host soccer’s World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, among other events. At a press conference at the famous Copacabana Palace hotel, the tourism secretary and president of Riotur (a public tourism-promotion agency), Antonio Figueira de Mello, announced a “spectacular event” for the ‘Reveillon’ (New Year’s Eve celebration) at the Copacabana beach (in the southern part of the city), popular with tourists. The principal novelty will be the launch that night, minutes before the countdown to midnight, of the logo for the Rio 2016 Olympics, on screens set up along the beach. The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Belgian Jacques Rogge, and the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, will be invited, and it is planned that Lula da Silva will activate the electronic system that will display the logo, in a symbolic formal act to conclude his administration, since he will leave office on 1 January. Figueira announced the firm that won the bidding to put on the traditional show, which will include a battery of twenty tons of fireworks launched from eleven rafts positioned off-shore, facing the coast. The event will cost 17.5 million reais (10.3 million dollars) “entirely contributed by the sponsors.” The winning firm, SMR – which put on a similar show in Valparaíso (Chile) ten years ago and won the pyrotechnic competition held in Vancouver (Canada) in 2010 – will develop the theme of a “Golden Decade” for the occasion, in reference to the events that Rio will host: the Olympics, the World Cup, the 2013 Confederations Cup soccer tournament, and the World Military Games. Figueiro emphasized that the aim is to further promote Rio, the largest and best-known port of entry for tourists to Brazil, abroad. There will be a special tribute to the “glamour of Copacabana,” the “Little Princess of the Sea,” which rang in 2010 with almost two million people and sixteen tons of fireworks. As a preview of the festivities, it was announced that at Christmas there will be a show on the main stage by the popular crooner Roberto Carlos, ‘The King.’ By Dialogo September 16, 2010last_img read more

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