16 Jan 2014 Smoking alcohol: A dangerous way to get drunk
Whatever happened to taking shots? Any sort of excessive drinking is dangerous, be it via beer bongs or pouring shots into the eye socket (Yes! Apparently there’s a trend among teens is to take a shot of vodka, not by mouth, but by eye. That’s right: they pour vodka into their eyes in order to get drunk!). But now some drinkers are taking it even further and “smoking” alcohol.
The questionable practice, which has potentially scary consequences, has various permutations.
An individual can pour alcohol over dry ice and inhale it directly or with a straw, or make a DIY vaporising kit using bike pumps.
The alcohol of choice is poured into a bottle, the bottle is corked, and the bicycle pump needle is poked through the top of the cork. Air is pumped into the bottle to vaporise the alcohol, and the user inhales.
In 2004, the US saw a brief emergence of the trend with the availability of the AWOL (Alcohol Without Liquid) device, but the product was quickly banned in the US and lost its following. Nearly a decade later, clinicians are seeing evidence that the practice is gaining some traction — and not just among college kids and adolescent risk takers.
Save calories, drink your booze!
It’s popular among people who want to lose weight and don’t want the calories that come from consuming alcohol.
“People think it is a great way to get the effects of alcohol without gaining the weight because alcohol has an enormous amount of empty calories. You can’t be ingesting a lot of alcohol if you’re on a diet and want to lose weight,” says Dr Deni Carise, the deputy chief clinical officer at CRC Health Group, a chemical addiction and treatment group.
“I think adolescents are also particularly susceptible to this because it is novel and exciting.”
When alcohol vapour is inhaled, it goes straight from the lungs to the brain and bloodstream, getting the individual drunk very quickly. Because the alcohol bypasses the stomach and liver, it isn’t metabolised, and the alcohol doesn’t lose any of its potency…..