Quarta-feira’, 14/11/2018 | : : UTC-5
The Reflection

A bad buzz: Teens drink hand sanitizer, face serious side effects

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Teens are always trying to find a new and easier way to access alcohol–often with serious consequences. With the legal drinking age at 21, teens are reaching for products on store shelves that contain alcohol. One product in the news recently is the abuse of hand sanitizer to get a buzz.

One bottle of hand sanitizer contains at least 60 percent ethanol alcohol, or 120 proof. To put it in perspective, vodka is 80 proof–hand sanitizer is 1.5 times stronger than vodka, which no teen can purchase.

Teens can also combine it with table salt, which makes the sanitizer 100 percent alcohol, which is like teens drinking moonshine. Teens can also get a buzz when they combine hand sanitizer and mouth wash. This not only has the effects that alcohol can give people, it has hallucinogenic properties.

With the products so readily available, it is likely that more ethanol-based exposure will occur. Last year there were 622 cases of reported ethanol-based exposure, and 203 this year according to a CNN report on the issue earlier this year.

“Not only high school students are getting involved with this,” said school nurse Joni Knapper, “elementary kids have been found with bottles on school buses.”

Knapper went on to tell us that a popular drug is Listerine mouthwash, which they have found numerous bottles on the sides of the road.

Although none of the cases involving hand sanitizer resulted in death, doctors say there can be serious consequences for teens. Ethanol can interfere with normal body functions and side effects can range from sedation, loss of coordination and reaction time. Too much ethanol can lead dangerous drops in blood pressure as well, which can result in death.

By Ryan Fleury



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