'Dangerous' trend: Teens guzzling hand sanitizerApril 27, 2012
There's a new dangerous trend among teenagers -- trying to get drunk by guzzling hand sanitizer, the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles reports. Recently, 16 teens in the Los Angeles area have been treated for alcohol poisoning after drinking the cheap liquid.
It's unclear whether the teens knew each other, or had communicated, but at least some of them were distilling the hand sanitizer products, which typically contain at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol, using salt to separate the alcohol. The result is a powerful 120 proof shot, about 50 percent more potent than vodka or tequila, says Dr. Cyrus Rangan, medical toxicologist with the California Poison Control System.
"If a person has never had alcohol before, they can get drunk almost instantaneously," Dr. Calvin Lowe told NBC Los Angeles. "It's very, very dangerous."
Using hand sanitizer to get drunk is just the latest get-wasted fad, similar to young people downing mouthwash or cough syrup, also known as robo-tripping. In 2010 a Food and Drug Adminstration panel weighed whether to require a prescription to buy products containing dextromethorphan, the ingredient found in numerous over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. The FDA panel voted against the proposal.
"Teens have always been looking for things around the house to get high, so they don't have to go to a drug dealer," says Rangan.
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Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM