Unlike some other college campuses UNR has no reported case of alcohol poisoning caused by alcoholic energy drinks. But that doesn't mean that students here don't know about them, they do.
“They definitely are at parties. People go out pre-game before a party because in college, we are broke, we have no money,” John Crum a senior at UNR.
“A lot of the people I know they take it because it amps them for the night, they take it as a pre-game,” .said Crum.
The drinks are sold under the names like Four Loco and Joose. They can contain up to more than twice the alcohol content of malt liquors their size But there's more. The 'energy" in the alcohol is caffeine, lots of it.
Contained in one of the cans is the equivalent of a six pack, plus four cups of coffee. You can understand why you would get drunk on the beer alone., but the caffeine thwarts the effects of the alcohol. The heart rate goes faster, and people don't feel drunk, they can drink one or two of these cans, and increase their risk of alcohol poisoning.
“If you look at basically the advertising that's done for their products, the way the cans look, its definitely geared more towards the young age group,” Dr. Todd Lorenc, a sports medicine specialist.
Whether the drinks remain on store shelves is at this point up to the Food and Drug Administration. With the urging of many in Congress, the federal agency may soon rule that caffeine is unsafe in alcohol thus making it illegal for manufacturers to market the drinks.
While some have predicted the move this week, the F.D.A. itself has not confirmed the ban is imminent.
Washington, Michigan, Utah and Oklahoma are not waiting for the FDA. Those states have already banned alcoholic energy drinks.
Other states are considering similar measures.