Nowadays, there are many ways in order for troubled teens in order to get their ‘kicks’ or ‘high’. From sniffing shoe adhesives (Rugby) up to adding energy drinks to alcohol, another ‘trend’ is arising; Drinking Hand Sanitizers.
Drinking Hand Sanitizers, as it says, not only looks stupid; it also sounds insane. However, instances of teenagers drinking these in order to get themselves drunk are definitely true.
Hand Sanitizers, as we all know, contains alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol, to be exact). A 240-ml hand sanitizer gel contains an amount that can be compared to at least 5 shots of hard liquor. Teens drinking these usually distill the alcohol content from gel part by adding salt in it, or mixing it with mouthwash like Listerine in order to achieve that minty, alcoholic concoction. No one knows where this practice really originated, though first cases involved prison inmates last year 2009.
As a matter of fact, hand sanitizers really serve their purpose: that is, to kill. We use these in order to make sure that our hands are ‘microbe-free’. So therefore, drinking it can be lethal, especially in our case. Isopropyl Alcohol, the main alcoholic ingredient that is being used in hand sanitizers, is toxic and can cause nervous system and internal organ damage. Possible additional effects include brain, liver and kidney damage, along with blindness.
The ethyl alcohol or ethanol ingredient, on the other hand, can be drunk in its pure form. However, manufacturers only produce ‘denatured’ versions of it, meaning putting some chemical in order for it to become undrinkable. Drinking this can be downright dangerous also, especially if either arsenic or benzene are added as their denaturing agent.