Smoking alcohol is one of the latest drinking trends, and the fact that it’s gaining more attention just in time for the summer months has both health experts and law enforcement concerned. This new way to ingest alcohol is becoming increasingly popular for both teens and adults. Its attraction is that you can enjoy the effects of alcohol without consuming the calories.
But is it safe?
What Makes Smoking Alcohol So Dangerous?
What makes this practice so dangerous is that the smoke is inhaled directly into the lungs, and it maintains its full potency. The alcohol hits the bloodstream and goes to the brain, causing immediate effects. Also, the dry ice itself can have toxic effects on the lungs because of its extreme temperature. The effects from smoking alcohol occur almost immediately, and drinkers are at a much greater risk for overdosing or alcohol poisoning.
With conventional drinking, the alcohol is metabolized by the liver and slowed by digestion, so the effects on the brain and the body are not nearly as severe. Also, the alcohol is broken down, so only a small amount passes into the body. If alcohol does start to build up, the body’s natural response is to remove it, causing the drinker to vomit. While unpleasant, getting sick prevents alcohol overdoses. With inhalation methods, the alcohol bypasses the stomach and liver and the body can’t dispel it.
Another difficulty is that drinkers don’t know how much alcohol they’re consuming when inhaling the vapors. You can monitor how much alcohol you’re drinking when you pour your own drinks, but smoking alcohol means that you could be inhaling a little or a lot. The liquid stays in the bottle, so you cannot gauge how much you’ve consumed by looking at the remaining contents. This, combined with the immediate, potent effects from the alcohol, is a recipe for disaster.
A Trend that Appeals to Both Teens and Adults
Drinking alcohol without liquid (AWOL) had a short time in the spotlight back in 2004 when vaporizers were put on the market to deliver alcohol via inhalation. The products were quickly banned in the United States, but the trend had already sparked interest in some drinkers. Recently, smoking alcohol has become more popular as people are looking for creative ways to drink without taking in the calories. The summertime places additional emphasis on this idea because people want to maintain a slimmer figure at the poolside while being able to drink.
What makes this alcohol trend especially unique is that it appeals to adults as well as teens. With other types of drug trends, adults will admit that they are silly or ridiculous, but smoking alcohol enables adults to diet, keep trim and still enjoy the effects of drinking. When adults feel that they can handle smoking alcohol responsibly, it sends a poor message to others and intensifies the concept that getting drunk can be achieved sans the calories.
At this point, there are no clear studies that look at the prevalence of smoking alcohol. It appears to be most popular among college-aged students who are looking to get drunk while avoiding the empty calories that accompany drinking. This trend, also referred to as drunkorexia – alcohol consumption plus calorie restriction – seems like the perfect alternative, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Don’t Be Fooled – Smoking Alcohol is Dangerous!
Smoking alcohol is just another drinking trend to add to the list that includes butt chugging, vodka eyeballing and vodka tampons. The sad truth is that people of all ages are willing to risk their lives and overall health just to get a high. Anytime an individual is using alcohol other than what it was intended for is a sign of addiction. People may try to justify what they are doing, but smoking alcohol has both short- and long-term effects that can result in blackouts, coma or death. Those who are willing to smoke alcohol will have no problem experimenting with other drinking trends, which may finally prove to be their demise.