The Dangers of Smoking Alcohol

It seems some people are always looking for a new way to get drunk. Now, some teens and college students resort to smoking alcohol rather than drinking it. The idea is to get bombed and save calories—thus the term “drunkorexia.”

Using various techniques, smoking or “vaporizing” alcohol delivers it to the bloodstream via the lungs, then goes directly to the brain. Without going through the normal digestion process, the alcohol is stronger and more potent. Its effect is almost immediate and leads to rapid intoxication.

But the dangers of smoking alcohol are much more significant than typical over-drinking:

There is no effective way to measure how much alcohol gets consumed. For instance, when smoking a cup of alcohol from a container, it’s impossible to see how much you’re inhaling because residual alcohol remains in the bottle, often obscured by lingering vapors.

People who drink too much generally vomit as their body works to prevent an overdose (that is, alcohol poisoning), but the brain has no way to expel alcohol it has already absorbed by vaporizing.

Inhaling vaporized alcohol can irritate the lungs and lead to bronchospasm and dry out the respiratory tract and nasal lining.

Inhaling dry ice (involved in one way to vaporize) can burn the lining of the lungs. This already-dangerous practice is even riskier for cigarette smokers or those with breathing problems like asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder).

However it enters the body, too much booze makes you sick. Imagine pouring a bottle of alcohol into your lungs, then think twice about vaporizing.

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