Young people are constantly seeking more intense highs.
Reaching an altered state of consciousness seems like the only real way to enjoy a weekend night anymore. Is there any other way for teenagers, college students, and young adults to have fun?
Bars are rarely empty. Beer, wine, and liquor companies certainly aren’t struggling financially. People seem willing to spend money they don’t necessarily have in exchange for a buzz, a high, or an escape from their everyday lives.
We hear about adolescent-aged kids trying all kinds of prescription drugs, and experimenting with alcohol and marijuana, and it makes you wonder, do they have any idea what the potential dangers of “just having a good time” may be, and how one night gone wrong can affect the rest of their lives?
Alcohol seems like the least harmful drug around because of its legal status in our society, but in all reality, alcohol is responsible for more health complications, more traffic accidents, and overall fatalities than any other drug. You might argue that the rates of use are higher, but alcohol remains at the top of the list for most dangerous substances to use and abuse.
The newest trend in alcohol consumption: smoking it. Young people are pouring alcohol over dry ice and inhaling the vapors.
Why? Because the new technique brings on a buzz much faster than drinking alcohol, and it saves the user from consuming all the calories.
If people are going to drink, what’s the difference between consuming alcohol the old fashioned way and trying this new smoking alcohol technique? The problem is the rate of consumption. On other words, the human body can only handle so much alcohol at any one time, and that amount is different by gender, weight, tolerance, etc. and can be variably different person by person.
Dangerous New Fad
The new fad is dangerous. Inhaling alcohol vapors takes the drug straight to the user’s lungs. From there alcohol is immediately in the bloodstream with direct access to the brain. Instead of having to go through your digestive system, where the body’s metabolic process starts to break down the components of alcohol, inhaling the vapors bypasses the usual system and creates more concern for complications, overdose, and death.
The vapors also hit the individual so quickly that you may not realize just how drunk one round of inhaling alcohol has gotten you. The high is quick and intense. Smoking just once is equivalent to an entire night of binge drinking. For men that amounts to about 5 drinks in a row, for women about 4.
Dawn Hancock, a Prevention Specialist at Circle Park Behavioral Health in South Carolina comments on the new trend of inhaling alcohol: “You actually get drunk faster, but that’s part of the danger is that your body systems don’t process alcohol the way they should, so you run a much greater risk of overdosing and again, possible alcohol poisoning.”
Still A Hangover
If you have ever had too much to drink, then you know just how awful you feel the next day. Maybe you got physically sick, felt nauseous, couldn’t eat, and couldn’t sleep. Hangovers are the consequences of consuming what is essentially poison. When smoking alcohol, the effects are the same, and so are the consequences.
Young people may feel they are making a better choice by inhaling the fumes of alcohol rather than drinking it, but the dangers are actually worse. In an attempt to hide the smell of alcohol from a night of partying, inhaling may temporarily keep your secret safe, but in the long run, you are putting yourself at much more risk.
The intoxication from smoking alcohol will show up on a breathalyzer or blood-alcohol test the same way drinking alcohol does. Driving while intoxicated is the same, and inhaling alcohol is just as illegal for anyone under 21 years of age as drinking alcohol.
How can we spread the word and stop young people from engaging in this new, but highly dangerous fad of smoking alcohol?
Danger Of Inhaling Vapors
Like other drug education and prevention efforts, we need to spread the word on the dangers and repercussions of alcohol consumption period, and now more specifically with inhaling the vapors of alcohol.
There is way too much substance abuse happening without accurate information that new methods, like smoking alcohol, are becoming cool to try because a “why not” mentality has become okay.
If you take a moment to think about the message your alcohol use sends, do you like what you are saying? Do you seek a buzz, a high, or an escape through alcohol?
If you or a love one have a problem with alcohol learn about the help available by watching this video: