A new product has recently hit the market that has caused quite a stir among parents, teachers, and law enforcement agencies as well as those who work in drug treatment centers.
The product, dubbed “Palcohol,” is powdered alcohol. It is marketed as a choice for people who would like to travel with a cocktail or instantly be able to transform any drink into an alcoholic one. Many experts assert that Palcohol offers very little benefit and poses a rather major potential health threat, especially to young people.
What Is Palcohol and How Does It Work?
Palcohol is alcohol in a powdered form. It is packaged and sold in small envelopes that can be slipped into a purse or pocket.
Manufacturers create the product by freeze drying alcohol, which puts the chemical of alcohol into a powdered form. It is intended to be mixed into a liquid, presumably non-alcoholic drink.
Risk Of Over Consumption
Many experts have argued that Palcohol should not, under any circumstances, be allowed on the market. One reason for this is that it may be quite easy for a person to consume very dangerous amounts of the substance without realizing it. Though the product is packged in single use envelopes, one could easily consume more than the recommended amount.
Because of the fact that the powder is not the form of alcohol that drinkers may be used to, they may be less likely to accurately assess how much they have had to drink and thus engage in dangerous behaviors like driving while intoxicated.
Younger drinkers may be at an even higher risk for endangering themselves with Palcohol consumption as they are generally much less adept at drinking moderately and may be much more likely to binge drink or to use the substance covertly in an attempt to avoid disciplinary consequences from parents or school or law enforcement officials.
Using Substance Incorrectly May Be Very Risky
The fact that Palcohol is powdered also worries some parents and substance abuse efforts who are concerned that teens and young adults may experiment with the substance by attempting to snort it.
Snorting the drug may make it even more dangerous than it already is, as the substance can be over consumed much more quickly and the alcohol in Palcohol will reach person’s brain much more quickly if it is inhaled through the nose. This can also lead to damage to the actual nasal and sinus passages.
Sweet Flavors May Attract Young People
In addition to posing a risk to young people because of its powdered form, many young people may be drawn to the substance because of its sweet flavors. Palcohol will be available in flavors like lemon drop and cosmopolitan, which will presumably have something of a candy-like taste to them.
Traditionally, underage drinkers have been much more likely to use very sweet alcoholic beverages than their adult counterparts. Sweet beverages like 4Loko, a banned malt beverage drink, have sent many teens to the emergency room, who may have over-consumed because the sweet drink prevented them from realizing how much alcohol they had consumed.
Educating Teens About the Dangers of Palcohol
Despite the concerns of many medical experts, Palcohol will likely be available in the U.S. at some point in 2014. Parents are advised to talk to their teens about the dangers of Palcohol and make it clear that Palcohol is by no means a “safer” alcohol and, in fact, it may pose even more dangers than traditional alcoholic drinks.
Maintaining an honest dialogue about alcohol in general is one of the most effective things a parent can do to keep their child from drinking.