One of the newest trends in black market use of household products to get high is Hand Sanitizer. Over the past three years over 2,000 cases of teens being hospitalized for intoxication due to ingestion of alcohol from alcohol based hand sanitizers has been reported.
The sanitizer is consumed or rather simply distilled. The effects are greater than what one would get from shots of 80 proof Vodka!
The risks of consuming sanitizer are much more dangerous than drinking alcohol intended for consumption. In addition to the Alcohol there are a number of other chemicals often found in sanitizers that can add to the trouble of the intense intoxication. Most sanitizers are 62-65% alcohol which makes them 120 proof!
Alcohol poisoning is one of the most common reasons why teens and young adults are found in emergency rooms. Certainly Alcohol in moderation is not an evil thing but when it comes to consumption of booze extracted from a product not indended to be consumed this is where the trouble begins.
We will never eliminate this sort of threat. We can make laws to outlaw product after product but at some point we need to step up and educate ourselves so we can educate each other and keep our teens and young adults informed.
If you or someone you love has an issue with alcohol there are a number of chapters of AA and other support groups for alcoholism. If you suspect someone has consumed something like hand sanitizer and they appear in distress either contact emergency personel or your local poison control center.