Mourning the death of 14 year-old Athena Gervais, her friends asked the government of Quebec to ban drinks high in sugar and alcohol. (Radio-Canada)

Drinks high in alcohol and sugar restricted, not banned

Friends of a teenager who recently died asked the government of Quebec to ban a drink that may have played a role in her demise. Athena Gervais, 14, was found dead on March 1, 2018 in a stream behind her school three days after she reportedly drank stolen cans of FCKDUP. The beverage has an alcohol content of 11.9 per cent and a lot of sugar which covers up the taste.

The Quebec maker of the drink called FCKDUP halted production after news of a teenager’s death. But there are other similar drinks on the market. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

Authorities are waiting for toxicology test results to determine whether the drink was a factor in her death.

Alcohol poisoning said to have increased

A non-profit group which lobbies for safe consumption of alcohol has long complained that these types of drinks are dangerous. It holds that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of teens brought to hospital emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning as the high-sugar, high-alcohol drinks have become more popular.

Friends of Gervais asked the government to take the drinks off the market entirely, but the government decided to ban their sale in convenience stores and groceries. Instead, any drinks containing more than seven per cent alcohol will be sold in government-run liquor stores where there is stricter control over the age limits for buying alcohol. In Quebec, one must be over 18.

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