By EDWARD LOVETT and EAMON MCNIFF
Sept. 21, 2012
Ninety percent of alcohol consumed by underage drinkers is consumed while binge drinking, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Equally alarming are the new forms of drinking teens reportedly have devised. That science project Junior’s been working so hard on? It may have less to do with physics class and more to do with ways to deliver alcohol to the blood that boost the buzz and prevent getting caught.
1. Vodka Tampon
It’s not a punk rock band, rather the use of vodka-soaked tampons inserted vaginally to get drunk faster and without having booze on your breath. It’s known as “slimming.”
The rumor-vetting website snopes.com concluded it was false, but a November 2011 report by KPHO Phoenix included interviews with a police officer and doctor who said they had witnessed cases of it.
The KPHO report echoed far and wide through the global media, including The Colbert Report. That doubtless made many young people try it, leading to a self-creating “trend.” Some of them have posted videos to YouTube.
“It burns!” is a phrase many of the videos share.
Anal insertion is an alternate — even recommended — option, according to news reports, people in the YouTube videos and commenters on the videos.
In the KPHO report, Officer Chris Thomas noted, “This is definitely not just girls. Guys will also use it and they’ll insert it into their rectums.”
Which leads us to number two …
2.Variation on the Beer Bong
Also known as the beer bong enema or “butt chug,” this is the rectal use of a beer bong — a funnel connected to a clear plastic tube to effect a high-pressure flow of beer. The stunt show “Jackass” depicted it, and many teens tried it at home. The proof is in the numerous videos on YouTube.
You guessed it: booze-soaked gummy bears. They’re also called drunk gummies and rummy bears.
In November 2011, Florida health officials warned schools about students — some as young as middle-schoolers — soaking gummy candy in alcohol and bringing it to school to enjoy under teachers’ noses.
The candy with a kick has been reported in New York and Nebraska, as well.
Debi MacIntyre, executive director of Lake County (Fla.) Safe Climate Coalition, a nonprofit targeting youth substance abuse, said that gummy worms work best.
“You lay a couple of them in the bottom of a pan and the alcohol is gone by morning. They are long and skinny, and they actually plump up quite big.”
Just Google it. This may be the extreme of the extreme, but the YouTube videos are proof that a few young drinkers out there are pouring liquor into their eye sockets.
Koren Zailckas, 32, wrote a best-selling memoir, “Smashed,” about her years as a high school and college binge drinker, and in 2010 she followed it with another book, titled “Fury.”
“[The] few people I’ve managed to find who have done [eyeball shots] said it feels like you’re going blind,” she said.
That’s not the only concern.
“The delicate tissue in the vagina, anus and eyeballs absorbs alcohol much more readily than regular skin does,” said Rebecca Williams, a research associate at the University of North Carolina who has studied youth access to alcohol. “When it comes to vodka tampons, alcoholic enemas or eyeball shots, there are concerns over how easy it can be to overdose and end up with alcohol poisoning.”
5.Hand Sanitizer (Off-Label Use)
Move over, cough syrup. In March, six California teens were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning from drinking hand sanitizer.
“This is a rapidly emerging trend,” Dr. Cyrus Rangan, a medical toxicology consultant for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said at a news conference a few weeks later. About 2,600 cases have been reported in California since 2010.
“It’s not just localized to us,” Helen Arbogast, an injury prevention coordinator in the trauma program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, told ABC News. “Since 2009, we can see on YouTube it’s in all regions of the country.”
Liquid hand sanitizer is 62 to 65 percent ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, the main ingredient in beer, wine and spirits, making it 120 proof. Most vodka is 80 proof.
“A few swallows is all it takes to get a person to get the intoxicated effects of alcohol,” Rangan said.
The Distilled Spirits Council, an alcohol industry trade group, told ABC News in a statement that the industry is “totally opposed to underage drinking,” and says the industry spends millions each year fighting it. The industry acknowledges that underage drinking is a serious social problem, but it says progress has been made, pointing to recent U.S. government data, including the latest study from the Department of Health and Human Services, which shows a decrease of more than 10 percent in underage drinking over the past ten years.