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Inhaling Alcohol


By ilene - Posted on 04 June 2013

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Some college students are experimenting with inhaling alcohol by pouring it over dry ice and "smoking" the vapors, according to an expert who says the practice is dangerous.

Young adults are inhaling alcohol to get high without ingesting calories, the Daily News reports.

Dr. Harris Stratyner, Regional Clinical Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers in New York, told the newspaper, "When you inhale alcohol, it goes directly into the lungs and circumnavigates the liver. The liver is what metabolizes alcohol, but when you inhale it, it goes directly from the lungs to the brain."

The practice is more likely to lead to deadly alcohol poisoning than drinking liquor, he said. Inhaling alcohol vapors can dry out the nasal passages and mouth, making a person more susceptible to infection, Stratyner added.

"One of the things that prevents alcohol poisoning is that you usually vomit," he noted. "When you circumvent the stomach and go straight to the lungs, you don't have that ability."

Inhaling alcohol has become more popular in the past year and a half, Stratyner said. "This is a stupid, highly dangerous thing to do. The fact that youngsters in particular can purchase the equipment for a relatively cheap price...this has to be made illegal."

If you're visiting the NCADD website to find out about alcohol, you are in the right place. We have chosen to have a separate section about alcohol because it is our most commonly used drug and it represents our number one drug problem. Click here to learn more.