NM Poison Center Warns Against Alcohol Inhalation

A Dangerous New Fad

A Dangerous New Fad

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Some individuals have turned to inhaling alcohol vapor instead of swallowing it by pouring it over dry ice or by using a vaporizer device. Taken into the body in this way, it gives the user a quicker, more intense buzz and also cuts some of the calories of an alcohol drink. But this practice carries some significant health risks and the consequences of inhaling alcohol far outweigh the benefits.

First, alcohol vapors go directly to the lungs, bypassing the stomach and liver which metabolize alcohol. From the lungs, alcohol goes straight to the bloodstream and to the brain. Hence, the consumer receives the full effects of the unprocessed alcohol. The lungs, however, are not designed to inhale alcoholic vapors and this can lead to injury to lung tissue, pneumonia and other unwanted effects.

In addition, because it is difficult to judge the amount and severity of the effects of vaporized alcohol, an overdose and alcohol poisoning is much more likely in this scenario.

It is important to remember that anything can be poisonous if taken in the wrong way, the wrong amount or by the wrong person. This is true even for naturally occurring elements such as sodium. Very recently a teen slipped into a sodium-induced coma after drinking more than a quart of soy sauce on a dare.

The New Mexico Poison Center would like to urge parents and educators to talk to children about the dangers of such fads. If you think that someone has been poisoned, call the New Mexico Poison Center right away at1-800-222-1222.For more information, visit the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center athttp://nmpoisoncenter.unm.edu/.

Contact: Luke Frank, 272-3322

Categories: Community, Patient Care

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