Cocaine in a can, coming to teens this fall

cocaine canWhile runway models are keeping the press humming about the slim scene, I’m tracking what’s going on BEHIND those curtains with celeb and ad types abuzz (literally) about a new ‘energy drink’ that crashed the runway parties.

Just when you thought marketing to kids couldn’t get much more toxic, “Drink Cocaine” is the message, with 280 milligrams of caffeine in an 8.4 oz can, coming soon to a homework tribe near you…

Targeting teens as the bad boy drink for the Red Bull set, this concoction is being hyped as “350% stronger than the Bull.” It’s also being promoted as “the legal alternative,” referred to in street slang drug terms, such as ‘doing cocaine,’ and asking kids, “can you handle the rush?”

“It’s an energy drink, and it’s a fun name,” says Jamey Kirby, founder of this lame Las Vegas libation, “As soon as people look at the can, they smile.”

Not smilin,’ Jim… Glamorizing drug culture and gleefully marketing a ‘high’ to high schoolers “Instant Rush! No crash!” doesn’t strike me as “tee-hee” material.

It’s got a “high that hits you within five minutes, followed by a caffeine boost 15 minutes later. But hold on – the ride lasts five hours…” and an inventor that boasts to the New York Post, “I can think of no other product except real cocaine that could have that effect on the public.

Can this concept get any more mind-numbingly irresponsible? Why, yes it can!

They’re icing kids’ throats with a fruit tingly numbing agent to simulate the real white powder drug…And giving teens another shove towards alcohol with ‘concoctions‘ named ‘smash, snort, shot, thriller, blast, and mocktail ‘tini’ suffixes.

What’s in the stuff? One more weensy lil’ problem there too…

The ingredients pack the caffeine wallop of an espresso, which they’re marketing as a “simple sugar” jolt and mega-B12 hit along with ‘vitamins C and B-6’ eluding to a healthiness that’s just not there by ANY nutritionist standard.

Pediatricians, drug experts, and dieticians are putting up red flags all over the place, for its über-sugary high caloric addictive capability.

“Fat and wired kids” are the last thing we need amidst a childhood obesity epidemic that’s creating Type 2 diabetes numbers that have tripled, with teens leading the way. Now they’ll be addicted too?

Geez, toss in a few cyberporn wallpaper freebies and some ‘pimp/ho’ ringtones and they’ll have single-handedly polluted the teen scene in an ‘evercool’ cross-platform media blitz. (I’m waiting for AdRants to rave about how ‘brilliant’ this is…It’s only a matter of time.)

Late night TV teens can now amp up their bed-headed bods, stagger toward the morning alarm clock, swig a can of Cocaine for breakfast and tra-la-la, toss one in the backpack for soccer practice after school.

A stretch? Not. Check out the ‘our server has crashed’ hype from 48 hours ago posted by the founder, eluding to appx. 7 million kids eager to get in on the partying persona.

Whether it’s popping open some of this joy juice before midterms or guzzling a can to be part of the crunk crowd, these money-grubbing opportunists know how to market and position a brand to teens.

They’ll dodge that they’re adding sugar shock, addiction, and confusion with illegal narcotics into the fold, along with literally killing kids. ($117 billion in national health care costs attributed to the economics of obesity alone)

Nope, not THEIR problem, gee whiz, they’re just makin’ a buck.

Joseph Califano Jr., president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University summed, “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?”

Exactly. That’s a ‘clear and present danger’ falling off the radar…

High schoolers may say this is ‘hilarious’ and ‘no big deal’ (simply an ever-edgier way to be part of the party hearty crowd without doing anything illegal).

…But feeding into an aspirational frat boy mentality is toxic in itself. (spare us any more of those on the planet, folks)

Meanwhile, Cocaine is enjoying journalist spins from the hackneyed “just say no” to the provocative, “just say snow” with the blogosphere screaming for poster-girl problem-child Lindsay Lohan to sign-on as their spokesperson.

Talk about a Parent Trap.

Some cluelessly ‘cool-wannabe’ parents will no doubt buy into the teen ‘harmlessness’ of this crud, but then, those are the folks that bought into the ‘tween thongs are comfy, kindergarteners need a cell phone’ hype too.

As tongues wag about ‘crossing the line’ with “Cocaine”, I can’t help but feel like we’ve crossed it so many times our culture is looking like a tic-tac-toe board.

Sanity, anyone…puuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhlease?



  1. Egads; THIS new “product” really takes the cake/coke/prize for Classic Crap!!–Have been reading yr. blog with great interest (Keep On Keepin On!)& haven’t had time to comment on any one of the very pertinent topics you’ve hit upon, but this Can of WORMS really raises a red flag for we parents.(Or at least we parents who don’t think the nation’s drug situation is so innocuous, much less ‘cool.’

  2. What is wrong with it? Losen up a little and let the kids have fun. Energy drinks are so far away from drugs! The only link between the two are the names. In addition, it barely has more caffiene than two cups of coffee which most people drink everyday anywyas. So stop over reading stuff and stop preaching because this is not going to stop any of the teens who want it. They are going to use it no matter what you or their parents say. I appreichiate your concern for the children, but this is honestly not the way to reach them.

  3. You’re absolutely right, Hayley…Kids ARE going to use the jolt-n-crash drinks no matter what adults say IF they really want to…my role is education. Kids need to KNOW THE FACTS…And in this case, yours are incorrect…

    It’s NOT the same as a couple of cups of coffee, as adolescent bodies react differently than adults, there’s mega-calcium leeching for bone development and young tweens (8-12) are at high risk at this developmental stage for depletion of same. It’s NOT about preach-n-teach vs. ‘loosening up and having fun’ either…Here’s our nutrition deconstruction to break it down for you:

    And while I agree that energy drinks are not of the same ‘magnitude’ as drugs, once again, caffeine IS a drug, it IS addictive, and it DOES have side-effects on kids (from heart palpitations to dehydration) that impact their adolescent bodies far more significantly than an adult bod. (and btw, wee ones are swiggin’ this stuff too in sibling wannabe style, as young as 5th/4th grade…)

    Marketers entice by selling stupidity and belittling the impact of side effects among younger kids. I recommend you Google some of our energy drink analysis and the reverb from sports/athlete intake among student pops that have had heart issues and THEN if you STILL want to make a lousy choice for your own health, it’s a free country, eh?

    p.s. The other health issue is FAT intake in kids snarfing up shake-style frappuccinos in latte land…But yah, I know, if kids want to get obese, that’s their ‘choice’ too…lighten up, right? 😉 Here’s a nice primer of facts there too:

    Finally, Here’s a great site about youth choices overall:

    Your call.

  4. Everyone is an expert. Some say it is bad, some say it is OK. How about let parents make the decision on what their kids can drink? I am so tired of lazy parents wanting to pass of the responsibility of raising their children to the state. Move to China if you want that sort of society.

  5. Well, Jamey, considering you’re the owner of Redux, the parent company of Cocaine in a Can, I can see how you’d like to slough this off as us being the ‘morality police’ complete with communist commentary accusations.

    I’d expect nothing more of you, really, since our entire corporate culture is built on profit over public health…Perhaps I’ll respond to your comment using a similar tone/phraseology as yours:

    “I am so tired of unethical corporations passing off the responsibility of instilling their vapid values and unhealthy behavioral cues under the guise of being pithy and clever, without giving a second thought to those of us trying to raise kids in a state of health and well-being. The trash-n-dash attitude of corporate profiteering at the expense of long term societal consequences that will ultimately bankrupt our health care system and leave our country a hollow shell of debt, ruin, and slime is not ‘that sort of society’ I care to embrace.”

    Can we build a more positive country? A healthier way toward corporate change and social responsibility?

    Yes, we can.

  6. This was very interesting to read. I think that drug recovery is very major issue in the world today. Many people are addicted to drugs or alcohol and not very many people are doing anything about it. This is why I think that the awareness of it must go up.

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