Palcohol, short for powdered alcohol, speaks for itself. Also known as dry alcohol, it can be mixed with water (or other liquids) to easily create liquor. This concoction, created by Arizonian Mark Philips, was just approved by the government last March 2015. While it’s legal to use, many fear that the ‘just add water’ concept can make it easy to abuse.
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The History of Powdered Alcohol
While it seems to be a novel creation, this concept is not entirely new. Before this powdered version of liquor came to be, it was already a thing in Japan in 1967. Thanks to Sato Foods Industries, the Japanese enjoyed Alcock, a powdered product known for its high alcohol content.
Sato managed to infiltrate the American market in 1977 with the release of “Sureshot.” While it did not take off like its liquid counterparts, the concept re-emerged with the approval of Palcohol.
What’s in Palcohol?
One package of Palcohol contains one ounce of product. According to the website, the company offers powdered versions of the following:
- Vodka, which is made from liquid vodka distilled four times
- Rum, which is made from liquid Puerto Rican rum
- Three cocktails, including Powderita (Margarita), Cosmopolitan, and Lemon Drop
When mixed with six ounces of water (or other liquids), each serving equates to one standard mixed drink.
Palcohol: Just the Same as Liquid Alcohol?
Ever since it was approved by the federal government in 2015, Palcohol has been under constant fire. For one, several states are against it. In fact, Virginia, Louisiana, and other local governments are making a move to ban powdered alcohol.
Although this is the case, Mark Philips has this to say: Palcohol works just the same as liquid alcohol. To wit, one packet exerts an effect similar to that of one standard drink.
With that being said, it can get you inebriated just like any other booze. Expectedly, it can slow your processes, such as judgment, thinking, and executive function. It can also affect your motor skills, making your reaction time slower. With that being said, Palcohol is just as potent as liquid alcohol when it comes to causing accidents, unprotected sex, and other bad decisions.
Palcohol and Underage Drinking
While it is approved by the US Federal Government, powdered booze comes with a variety of health concerns – just like liquid alcohol.
For one, it can lead to underage drinking, which is a big problem enough as it is. According to the Centers for Disease Control, young people aged 12 to 20 consume 11% of all alcohol sales in the United States. Approximately 30% of American youths drinking, and this has led to bad grades, accidents, and whatnot.
Despite the enforcement of the legal drinking age of 21, many underaged Americans still manage to sneak in a drink or two. This can even be easier now with Palcohol, according to Dr. Richard Besser of ABC News. In his interview, he voiced his concern about the little packets being very easy to sneak in. As such, this can make underage drinking all the more feasible.
Palcohol and Drug Abuse
Since alcohol is usually taken with illicit substances, Palcohol may promote concurrent drug abuse as well. After all, it comes in powder form – which makes it easily mixable with illegal substances.
Because Palcohol is relatively new, no studies have been done to determine its effects just yet. However, granted that it is similar to liquid alcohol, consuming it with illegal drugs can surely lead to ill effects.
For example, alcohol, if abused with methamphetamine, can lead to increased health risks. According to Bujarski et al., the use of both can lead to more pronounced effects on the heart.
The same can be said with cocaine. Taking it with Palcohol can lead to more severe heart and liver problems.
Palcohol: An Obstacle to Recovery?
Apart from encouraging underage drinking, Palcohol may make recovered alcoholics relapse again. According to Dr. Scott Krakower, it can tempt ex-alcoholics to drink. After all, the package is very easy to conceal. Since there are no big bottles to hide, relapsing drinkers can make and take booze quite easily.
Palcohol Use Issues
One of the more common concerns about Palcohol is that people might try to snort it. After all, it is a white powder that is similar to illegal drugs. Since men are outright curious, some people have taken this to the test. And of course, the effects were more than unpleasant.
In fact, the founder Mark Philips had to try it for himself. Quipping from The Atlantic:
“Somehow, the powder turned straight into glue when it hit my sinuses. I was immediately plugged up. The fumes burned inside my nose, but only for the first minute or so. After that came an uneasy numbness. Maybe all the nerve endings were dead. There was no one left to sound an alarm.
The headache was still present—a throbbing pressure at my temples—but the powder drunk was giving me a weird, out-of-body feeling. If you like headaches and gummed-up sinuses and numb, dissociative drunks, you’re going to go apeshit for powdered booze.”
So there it is – snorting Palcohol is obviously not a smart thing to do. It cannot make you drunk easily. It can only bring about a strong burning sensation that numbs up your sinuses. Like binging on alcohol, it can cause a headache that might be worse than your most memorable hangover.
2. Combining Multiple Packets
Some people can get so desperate that they may end up mixing one Palcohol sachet with another. Worse, they may dissolve one packet in liquid booze instead of water or juice. This may lead to unprecedented health issues since there are no studies to document their effects yet. As such, it is important to stick with the manufacturer’s directions to avoid any health problems in the future.
Palcohol, a powdered form of booze, is now legal in the United States. Unfortunately, this product raises several health concerns. According to experts, it may lead to underage drinking, concurrent drug abuse, and possible relapse. With its powder form, drinkers may try to snort it – or mix it with other substances. As such, wrong Palcohol use may lead to adverse health events in the near future.
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