Hysteria and Rhetoric Gone Mad: Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks

The media, FDA, and politicians have gone mad over recent deaths due to excessive alcohol consumption, because the alcoholic drinks where caffeinated. It is clearly a tragedy when anyone dies from a worthless and unrewarding endeavor like alcohol, but this is being blown out of proportion, in a big way.

I was unable to find more than a dozen deaths ever from caffeinated alcoholic beverages. If one were to make the terrible assumption that alcoholic beverages have only been caffeinated in the last year, and having the high estimate of 100 caffeinated alcohol related deaths this year, these deaths account for less than 1/100th of a percent of all alcohol related deaths this year. To reiterate that's less than .01%, using the CDC's statistic that there are 79,000 alcohol related deaths each year.

For better context on the severity of Four Loko type drinks, let’s put our 100 deaths per year up against some other statistics. According to the CDC in 2007 3,443 people died from unintentional drowning’s and in 2009 2,565 people died in fires. That means that 300 times more people died from drowning’s, why aren't people screaming about life jacket safety, drunk swimming/boating, or some other water safety issue?  

There is not enough rhetoric or lunacy behind drowning deaths to get a response. The book freakonomics makes a strong point, saying that drowning’s are less scary and spectacular than other accidental deaths and therefore draws less attention.

It's clear to anyone who thinks and/or drinks that caffeinated alcohol has been around since caffeine has. Anyone ever had a rum and coke, mixed alcohol with any caffeinated soda, or mixed alcohol with an energy drink?

If a ban is placed on these caffeinated malt liquors it will only increase the interest of youth who want to experience this sort of thing and they will make their own caffeinated alcoholic beverages. A ban will not reduce the number of caffeinated alcohol related problems; it may increase them by bringing attention to the fact that when you mix caffeine and alcohol together you get really jacked up. However, if your aim is to grandstand, get ratings, or just generally be noticed please continue to waste your time and the resources of the American people.

I'm all for the reduction of unnecessary deaths but I am also for personal responsibility, being allowed to make my own decisions without government interference, and having a government that makes smart efficient decisions when deciding how and when to intervene into the lives of the public.

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3 Response to Hysteria and Rhetoric Gone Mad: Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks

December 21, 2010 at 11:08 AM
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December 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM

I Have To Agree With The FDA; On This. One & Only Time I've Ever Agreed With Them.

December 21, 2010 at 8:02 PM

I do wonder what the statistical difference is if you exclude alcohol related deaths like car crashes and such since every caffeinated alcohol related death that I've heard about was from alcohol poisoning.

I totally agree with you though. I think all forms of self destruction should be legal as it's not the government's responsibility to save us from ourselves but rather from each other. Things that cross that barrier like smoking and drunk driving are the government's responsibility of course.

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