Hand Sanitizers: Latest Trend in Teen Alcohol Abuse

Here is something that just blew my mind — teens have found a way to get drunk with hand sanitizers.

The latest trend in alcohol abuse comes in the form of hand sanitizers which teens consume to get drunk, and because they are not aware of the dangers in ingesting the said substances, emergency room admissions are increasing by the day.

hand sanitizerHealth experts said that hand sanitizers have long been experimented on not only by the youth as alcohol substitutes. Since March 1, 16 cases countywide and 60 cases statewide in 2010 have been reported at California’s Poison Control which involve hand sanitizers.

According to pediatric medical toxicologist Dr. Cyrus Rangan, the misuse of hand sanitizers is increasing fast. As the director of the county Department of Public Health’s Toxic Epidemiology Program, Rangan confirmed that a small bottle of hand sanitizer contains 60% alcohol and this is what teens are after to get drunk. “That’s like drinking several shots of hard liquor,” Rangan added.

Dr. Rangan continued that although there hasn’t been any death reported with the abuse of hand sanitizers, continuous intake of the substance could lead to a coma.

Unfortunately, hand sanitizers can be purchased easily and with no restricting law governing its distribution or sale, the number of bottles that kids, at any age, can buy is literally limitless. Teens have learned to separate the alcohol from the product using bath salts. Details of the whole procedure are found online.

The more dangerous scenario in the misuse of hand sanitizers is when younger children ingest it thinking it’s fruit juice by mistake, says Helen Aborgast from the Children’s Hospital during a press conference. “Just a spoonful can cause a problem,” she said. “It’s a concern for us. We’re going to be going to the high schools to talk about it.”

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