It never ceases to amaze me what teens will use to get high. And now we as parents have a new, horrible thing to worry about.
There's a story out of Los Angeles filed late yesterday that teens are showing up in emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning from one of the most common things they can buy or find at home - hand sanitizer.
Evidently, alcohol can be distilled from this product with salt and turned into something like pure grain alcohol. For any of you who have ever had grain alcohol, you know it's powerful at a level most of the liquor we drink could never be. And to top it off, with teens, who don't necessarily know what they are drinking, it can be very dangerous.
According to doctor's interviewed by the LA Times - "The liquid hand sanitizer is 62% ethyl alcohol and makes a 120-proof liquid. A few drinks can cause a person’s speech to slur and stomach to burn, and make them so drunk that they have to be monitored in the emergency room."
So what the heck are we as parents going to do about it? Doctors are calling for us to lock up the hand sanitizer but how on earth are we going to do that? It's in all of our homes and all over the schools. I would start by asking your teen if they've ever heard of this, because chances are he or she is far more plugged in than we are. Second, scare them with the science.
It's very simple actually. A couple shots of this stuff is the equivalent of binge drinking. Blood alcohol content is partly based on how much is in their system and ingested at one time. If your kidsweighs 100 pounds they can't ingest much of this at all without getting violently ill or suffering from alcohol poisoning. Stop it before it starts.
Here's a link to the video report, which you may find helpful. http://www.latimes.com/videogallery/69558390/News/VIDEO-Teens-Using-Hand-Sanitizer-to-Get-Buzzed-Chris-Wolfe-reports