Body shots, shotgunning, beer bongs… it's all old hat. These days, it's all about "smoking" alcohol - a questionable practice with potentially deadly consequences. It works like this: An individual pours their alcohol of choice over dry ice and inhales it; via straw, directly or with a DIY vaporizing kit made from a bike pump.
Early Appearance Of Vaporized Alcohol
The trend emerged in the United States back in '04 alongside the availability of the Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL) device. However, the product was banned almost immediately and the following was lost.
Resurgence Of The “Smoking Alcohol” Trend
Almost 10 years later, increased evidence of the practice is being noted by physicians throughout the country - and not just among adolescents and college students. Rather, its popularity stems from those attempting to lose weight and who are looking to avoid the calories associated with traditional alcohol consumption. "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," said CRC Health Group's deputy chief clinical officer Deni Carise. "I think adolescents are also particularly susceptible to this because it is novel and exciting."
How Smoking Alcohol Works
When inhaled, alcohol vapor moves straight through the lungs to the brain and bloodstream, resulting in a much quicker effect. Because the liver and stomach are bypassed in the process, the alcohol is not metabolized, and thus retains its full potency.
Consequences Of Smoking Alcohol
Alcohol smokers experience the effect almost instantly, but the risk factor is heightened exponentially. The side effects of alcohol addiction are very dangerous as users are at a much higher risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning and overdose than their drinker counterparts. When drinkers go a little overboard, they typically vomit - one way the body works to prevent overdose. However, when the alcohol bypasses the liver and stomach, the body has no way of removing it.
The ability to gauge the amount of alcohol ingested is often compromised when smoking. While a drinker can generally regulate how many shots or beers they've enjoyed during the course of an evening, a "smoker" is often unable to determine whether they are inhaling a few sips or a much larger amount.
Smoking alcohol also takes a toll on nasal passages and lungs. "Your lungs are not meant to inhale something that can turn back into a liquid. When you think of liquid in the lungs, you think of drowning," says Dr. Carise. "It's amazing what our culture will do to get drunk."
If you believe someone you love is addicted to smoking or drinking alcohol, seek a professional alcohol treatment center today. Contact Decision Point Center right away at 888-966-9279 to get you or your loved one on the bright path to sobriety today!