Smoking alcohol is a dangerous practice for any one and may be even more risky for young people. An impressive body of medical research has established that the adolescent brain is not yet fully developed and is especially vulnerable to the effects of drugs and alcohol.
The mechanism for smoking alcohol presents additional risk because when alcohol is drank, it must be processed by the digestive system and the liver in the body and the alcohol affect is somewhat diminished by these processes.
When alcohol is smoked, its affects are immediate as the alcohol goes directly from the lungs to the brain. So rapid is the effect that people become intoxicated very quickly.
In addition, it is difficult for the consumer to know just how much alcohol they are consuming as the alcohol is turned into a vapor.
When alcohol is drunk, the body has a line of defense called vomiting if too much alcohol is consumed this defense mechanism is nullified when someone smokes alcohol as they will not vomit while smoking alcohol.
For some people, especially young and inexperienced people, the threat from alcohol poisoning while smoking alcohol is extremely high.
Smoking alcohol fits the needs of young people better than drinking it in a variety of ways. Most young people, especially underage drinkers, do not have the opportunity to hang around their parents’ house getting drunk while mom and dad are cooking dinner or watching television.
Rather, they must hide their alcohol use and must consume as much alcohol as possible in a brief period of time. Smoking alcohol fits these purposes very well. It is not my intention to describe the processes by which alcohol is smoked so young people can utilize these processes to get drunk, but rather to make parents and guardians aware of these processes so that they can be aware of the materials and equipment needed to smoke alcohol.
One manner of smoking alcohol is to put dry ice in a thermos and to then pour alcohol in the thermos which creates a vapor that is inhaled.
Another method involves alcohol in a bottle with a cork into which a bicycle pump is inserted. The pressure then creates a vapor that is inhaled.
A third method involves heating alcohol to the point where a steam comes off the alcohol. Another product is legally sold in the United Sates surprisingly, called the “Vaportini” which creates an alcohol vapor that is inhaled.
As America goes deeper into an epidemic of obesity, weight conscious young people who are very concerned about their image are assuming that smoking alcohol will remove all of the calories associated with drinking alcohol.
This is, of course, incorrect as the calories of the alcohol are still being absorbed by the body. The only calorie savings would be any liquid used to mix with drink that would be eliminated by smoking alcohol.
Because so little is known about the effects of smoking alcohol, there is no definitive health warning about this obviously dangerous practice, if this practice becomes widespread and popular enough among young people perhaps the issue will arise and be identified.
What we do know is that smoking alcohol is very dangerous for its rapid impact, its potential for alcohol poisoning and or death and the potential for harm to young people while they are becoming rapidly intoxicated in a world where there are automobiles, ATVs, swimming pools, unethical people and an array of other risks that young people will encounter while heavily intoxicated.
So far, groups of concerned parents have been able to quash other obviously dangerous risks to young people in America. Hopefully smoking alcohol will also be pushed to an irrelevant sideline and ruled as an illegal practice.
For now, parents and guardians should sit down with their children to discuss the dangers of smoking alcohol. Remember, all kids count.
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