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Doctors warn against inhaling alcohol
ALBANY -- Doctors are
warning about a new trend of inhaling alcohol instead of drinking it. Some videos
on YouTube show people using air pumps or dry ice to vaporize alcohol.
“You're going to get high very, very quickly. It's a very quick high. I'm sure it's a very exhilarating high, but the problem is you can't tell how much is being absorbed and you can have toxic, death-like effects,” said Dr. James Saperstone with CapitalCare Pediatrics.
When a person drinks alcohol it is normally absorbed into the blood stream after passing through the stomach, but inhaling it bypasses many organs and goes through the lungs and to the brain.
“It melts it...the body just really doesn't do well with it as opposed to drinking alcohol, at least the stomach has a chance to protect it and break it down,” explained Dr. Saperstone.
Inhaling alcohol also bypasses safeguards within the body to prevent ingesting excessive amounts of alcohol, such as vomiting.
“It can cause tissue damage. This is like putting a solvent, a chemical solvent on very sensitive tissues. It just kills cells directly that were never meant to see it,” said Dr. Saperstone. “It causes your heart to do some weird things, go into some funky rhythms when your alcohol level is very high and you could pass out and you might not wake up.”