Teens Smoking Alcohol

There’s a new trend among teenagers, and it takes the dangers of alcohol consumption to a whole new level. Teens are “smoking” alcohol instead of drinking it, oftentimes placing alcohol in a plastic bottle, pumping it with air, and sucking in the potent fumes. Videos demonstrating the process can be easily found on YouTube and other internet sites.

“These videos scare the hell out of me,” says Steve Pasierb, who runs the partnership at drugfree.org. “It’s binge drinking in an instant. It’s like doing five or six shots into your bloodstream right away.”

Healthcare professionals are also concerned, saying it’s even more dangerous than drinking alcohol, and can be extremely addictive. They compare it to “pure alcohol shooting into your brain.”

When alcohol is consumed normally, it takes time for the liquor to affect you, as it travels into the stomach, is processed in the liver and 20 minutes later, into the bloodstream. But when alcohol vapors are inhaled, the alcohol is absorbed into the lungs instantly, racing to the brain.

“The normal sensation when you drink and you are getting more drunk is to vomit: It’s your body’s way of expelling alcohol,” explained Dr. Robert Glatter of Lenox Hill Hospital. ” However, when you inhale alcohol, your brain has no way of expelling it.”

Some of the videos even tell teens that inhaling alcohol can improve weight loss, or that drunkenness can be hidden more easily from parents. Videos also tell teens that smoking alcohol isn’t illegal—another falsehood. No matter how alcohol is consumed, it’s illegal if consumed by anyone under age 21.