Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Getting on my Soap box for a minute

I'm not one to normally post my opinions in this large of a way, but I feel the need to get this out there in case some of you are not aware of this new product. I'm sure you have all heard of this already, but I just want to make sure people are aware there is a new "energy" drink on the market called Cocaine. Here's an article that was published in The Seattle Times on Sept. 22. Bold print was highlighted by me.

Latest energy drink gets some bad buzz
Newhouse News Service

In the competitive market for "energy drinks," the aim is to advertise more caffeine, more buzz, more attitude.
Even more controversy.
The latest drink to bust from the pack promises the euphoria of drugs — but legally. And it's receiving buzz — especially from anti-drug advocates.
The Cocaine Energy Drink, created by a Las Vegas beverage maker, contains no narcotics but boasts on its Web site, "Instant Rush. No Crash!"
Drinkers are told they will experience the "highest energy content of ANY energy drink on the market today! 350 percent greater than The Bull!" — a reference to Red Bull energy drink. Drinkers will experience "possible feelings of euphoria," all, apparently, from sugar and caffeine.
Jamey Kirby, the drink's inventor, said the Cocaine Energy Drink contains 280 milligrams of caffeine and costs about $2 a can. An average cup of coffee contains about 80 milligrams of caffeine.
Drug experts are appalled, and so are nutritionists, who say young people use the stimulating drinks to help them party through the night.
"Kids get hopped up on drinks called Cocaine and Xtazy and then what happens when someone offers them a line of real cocaine or an Ecstasy pill?" said Joseph Califano, president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
The beverage Cocaine joins other energy drinks using provocative names and edgy advertising to make a splash in the crowded field of sugary, highly caffeinated drinks. With names such as Xtazy Energy, PimpJuice and Tantra Erotic Drink, most are aimed at young people and advertised heavily on the Internet.
"I can't believe they would name a drink after a street drug," said Andre Emont, director of pharmaceutical services at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-University Hospital in Newark, N.J. "They are associating this with a drug people abuse."
Kirby responded that the 8-ounce energy drink does not promote or glamorize drugs.
"Kids already know what's out there," Kirby said. "Maybe this can help by making parents and kids not afraid to talk about drugs."
Kirby said he expected controversy, "but we were not prepared for this insane media blitz."
Industry experts seem less alarmed than drug experts and say marketers for energy drinks merely are trying to take on a "street attitude" and stand out from the crowd.
"They are going after the savvy, sophisticated 20-something male. They used to show extreme sports, like skateboarding. Now they are taking on a street attitude," said Sarah Theodore, editor of Beverage Industry magazine.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

Ok, so WHAT IS THIS COMPANY THINKING???? I mean really...couldn't they have named it something else. And WHY would anyone need this much caffeine anyway? I remember being sick for 3 days in college when I took NoDoz and coffee together to stay up all night to write a paper. It makes you high. It should not be legal and if it is, you should have to be 18 to purchase it! Can you imagine the kids walking around school saying, "Hey, I'm on cocaine!" I agree with Mr. Califano when he asks what are kids going to do when they are offered the actual drug? I think they will be more likely to try these drugs since they will be expecting the same kind of rush. I'd never heard of the drink Xtasy either and that makes me just as mad. I've heard recently of other risque named drinks that I don't even have the gall to print! These companies should be ashamed of themselves!!!

Mr. Kirby (and I use Mr. very lightly as he is very unlikely to be deserving of that title) states that he did not expect this much media...please!!! He knew exactly what he was doing. If he didn't, his marketing team sure enough did. They are getting what they want, but hopefully with more people aware of this drink, parents will make sure their children do not purchase their products. And I seriously doubt that the 20 something male is really their target market. Most of the people I see with drinks of this type are teens. A lot of people also mix these drinks with alcohol. I shudder to think of what that does to the body.

I encourage everyone out there with children or anyone that has influence on children to please discuss the affects this drink could have on the body and also use it as a way to discuss drugs with them as well. Mr. Kirby did have that right, it did make me want to talk to children about drugs, but in my opinion, this drink should be considered a drug.

The FDA needs to step up and require warnings be placed on the labels of these drinks stating the possible side effects like they do with cigarettes.

Ok, I'm finished ranting, but I felt the need to talk about this. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments. Discussion is good, very good!

Stepping of my soap box now!


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