According to Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Director Gary Pearce, there seems to be no end of the new and dangerous trends teens devise for getting high. Instead of drinking alcohol, some people are opting to “smoke” it — and it’s making doctors nervous.
After having previously reported on new ways that teens and adults have found for getting high, including alcohol on your eyeballs, up your nose, in your tampons, in your cupcakes, in your gummy bears, and on your pizzas, we have another inexplicable drinking trend afoot.
The user either pours hard liquor over dry ice or heats it, then inhales the vaporized alcohol. Some believe the process affords the inhaler a high without the calories of alcohol. In truth, there are still calories involved when you vaporize alcohol. The alcohol goes to the brain, lungs and blood very quickly, making people less able to figure out their limits or how fast they will become intoxicated.
On the surface, smoked alcohol may seem attractive to users. None of the alcohol is metabolized by the stomach, and it goes directly to the brain and bloodstream. This results in a shorter, but faster feeling of intoxication. Some online videos lure teens into thinking that “smoking” alcohol hides their use from parents and police, but that is not the case.
“Smoking” alcohol is very dangerous. Because the alcohol bypasses the stomach and liver, it is in a more concentrated form when it enters the body. Individuals who smoke alcohol are at a much higher risk of an alcohol overdose, referred to as “alcohol poisoning”. In the normal course of drinking, as people become more intoxicated, they generally vomit. Vomiting is the actually your body’s way of preventing an overdose. However, when alcohol bypasses the stomach and liver– as in “smoking” alcohol– there is no effective way to get rid of it. Once your brain has absorbed the ethanol, there is no way to expel it from your system.
An additional risk centers on the addictive potential of vaporizing alcohol. The rapid and intense effect of vaporizing alcohol–similar to the “quick hit” of cocaine, cigarettes, and methamphetamine—has tremendous potential to reinforce the addictive effects, leading to greater abuse potential.
Talbot Partnership encourages parents to stay on top of dangerous trends by simply searching around online and paying attention to their kids’ conversations with friends. For further information on alcohol and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or email@example.com. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.