“dude, i’m, like, totally wasted on purell!”

i was laughing at this article, that talks about how a prison inmate got really drunk (.33 blood alcohol level!) by drinking hand sanitizer. sample ‘graphs:

“It’s actually quite effective at killing bacteria and more effective at killing viruses than other types of hand cleaners,” said Christopher Welsh, a University of Maryland addictions psychiatrist. On the other hand, sanitizers contain the same alcohol compound as restricted drinks such as beer and vodka.

However, this October, a Maryland inmate took those instructions out of context and began drinking from a gallon jug of sanitizer, health officials say. The sanitizer included more than 70 percent ethyl alcohol by volume.

but, then, i noticed these paragraphs:

There is also a concern about middle and high school students drinking hand sanitizer to “be cool,” Welsh said. “It’s important for parents and school personnel to be aware that it is happening.”

He suggested parents treat hand sanitizer like any other potentially harmful household product, including storing out of reach of small children and instructing children not to drink from it.

The Poison Center gets a handful of calls each year about young people intoxicated by hand sanitizers, mouthwash and flavoring extracts, Doyon said. “You can drink enough to get alcohol poisoning and die.”

and i realized that they’re probably right! i mean, if drinking robotussin to get a school-day-long buzz can become a national rash, why wouldn’t drinking purell become the same! wow. so, now, i suppose us youth workers will have to start noticing if the breath of our students smells soapy fresh.

4 thoughts on ““dude, i’m, like, totally wasted on purell!””

  1. I have a 16 year old client who just went into a 30 day treatment program for this very thing. He is drinking everything he can get his hands on, including hand sanitizer. We have had to remove all such things from our offices and bathrooms in the clinic because of this!

  2. When I was in Middle School years ago, I knew someone who got suspended because she was drinking Mouthwash for the alcohol content. So even if their mouths smells minty fresh, you never really know!

  3. i don’t know if we went to middle school together krista, but i was a middle-schooler who drank Scope straight out of the mini travel bottles. cRaZY the lengths young people will go to!

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