Parents if you don’t trust your kids, then you might want to monitor their activities as there’s a dangerous new trend among teens on the rise. Initially it was cough syrup and mouth wash but now teens are abusing hand sanitizer to get drunk. According to published reports, approximately six California teenagers were recently hospitalized with alcohol poisoning after the got drunk off hand sanitizer.
Teenagers that once used other alternatives to get drunk are now using this new and dangerous method. It’s sole purpose is supposed to be used to clean and disinfect your hands but it’s now been used as a replacement for alcohol, which is usually hard for teenagers to get, since the legal drinking age is 21 in the US. Doctors says a small bottle of hand sanitizer is equivalent to three small shots of 120 proof alcohol.
The alcohol extracted from household hand sanitizer is 120 proof, in comparison to a bottle of vodka, which is 80 proof. “Methods to distill it can be found through friends and the Internet, but straight ingestion of the product without distillation is also common,” Dr. Rangan said.
According to ABC News, about 2,600 different cases have been reported in California since 2010, but public health officials say that there are many other cases across the country. It has become such an alarming trend that officials decided to hold a press conference on the issue.
“A few swallows is all it takes to get a person to get the intoxicated effects of alcohol,” Dr. Cyrus Rangan, medical toxicology consultant for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said in a news conference on Tuesday (Apr 24). “There is no question that it is dangerous.”
Parents and Guardians are being urged to monitor the use of Hand Sanitizer in the home and lock them away as they would do with medication. They also urge parents to get the foam hand sanitizer instead of the gel as it is more difficult to distill, thus making it a lot less tempting for them to abuse.