Alcohol Vapors: Know the Risks
Drinking alcohol to the point of getting drunk is nothing new: People have been doing it for generations. A new way to get drunk involves inhaling the alcohol instead of drinking it. Once inhaled, alcohol may cause serious harm to the brain and lungs, often more so than when people ingest it. People can also become intoxicated more quickly when inhaling alcohol than they do when drinking it.
"Smoking" alcohol involves heating it or pouring it over dry ice, which creates a vapor that is then inhaled. Inhaling alcohol vapors leads to a fast and intense high because the alcohol absorbs into the bloodstream and the brain more quickly through the lungs than it does when it is absorbed through the stomach lining. In fact, even small amounts of inhaled alcohol can make a person much more inebriated than if someone drank the same amount of alcohol.
"Smoking" alcohol eliminates the digestive system from the equation, and because of that, some people are attracted to this option because it doesn't involve ingesting calories. The ability to get drunk without consuming extra calories can seem like a win-win situation. But however alcohol is taken into the body, whether by inhaling or swallowing, it comes with risks.
- The higher rate of absorption of alcohol when it is inhaled can lead to brain damage, which can be especially hazardous for teenagers and young adults, since they have brains that are not fully developed.
- Drinking too much alcohol will irritate the stomach, which typically leads to vomiting, and this expels some of the alcohol from the body, which limits the amount of alcohol that is absorbed into the bloodstream. However, "smoking" alcohol won't lead to stomach upset and vomiting, so the absorption won't be interrupted.
- The heat from the vapors can cause lung injuries, which could even cause long-term breathing issues.
Scientific studies in rats have uncovered several potential health issues with smoking alcohol, including those that accompany addiction.
- Rats have shown more alcohol-seeking behaviors when they engage in chronic alcohol inhalation. Inhaling alcohol has led to rats requiring higher doses to produce the same feelings.
- In lab studies, rats also show increased anxiety after exposure to alcohol inhalation.
- Alcohol withdrawal syndrome may occur, which involves anxiety, sweating, tremors, chills, and seizures.
Although inhaling alcohol may seem like a good solution for getting the desired effects of the drug in a faster and easier way without calories, this process is very risky. The effects of the alcohol can be powerful and fast, and long-term damage can result to the lungs and the brain. Avoid abusing alcohol in any way for optimal health. If you do decide to consume alcohol, do it the old-fashioned way and in moderation.
- Five Things Inhalants Can Do to Your Body: Brain damage is among the leading risks that can stem from inhaling alcohol or other chemicals.
- Inhaling Alcohol Vapor Puts You at Risk of an Overdose: Alcohol is more concentrated when it's ingested as a vapor instead of as a liquid.
- The Effect of Alcohol on Lungs, Brains, and Babies: Cognitive loss and memory issues are common with excessive alcohol consumption of any kind.
- Dangerous Trend: Smoking Alcohol: Inhaling one shot of alcohol into the lungs will cause effects almost instantaneously.
- Alcohol Inhalation: Some people use nebulizers to inhale alcohol.
- Vaping Alcohol: What You Should Know: Vaping alcohol began sometime around 2004 in Europe with the invention of a special device for this purpose.
- Ways People Get Drunk Without Drinking: People have also tried snorting alcohol, which could lead to drowning due to the liquid entering the lungs.
- Inhaling Alcohol: Dangerous Trend, Expert Says: The liver metabolizes alcohol when a person drinks it. But when alcohol is inhaled, the alcohol circumvents the liver and goes directly to the lungs and bloodstream.
- Inhaling Vaporized Alcohol: New Method of Suicide? Because alcohol inhalation can be so lethal, the risk of death is much higher than when drinking it.
- The Vaportini: A Cocktail Inhaled, Not Stirred: Some people have noticed that they miss the experience of tasting alcoholic drinks when they inhale the alcohol instead.
- "Smoking" Alcohol Is Latest Dangerous Party Trend: Those who have concerns about counting calories and carbohydrates may be especially susceptible to the trend of alcohol inhalation.