My co-worker and I (messy hair and cigarettes) recently wrote a press release for our ob about this new product that is trying to get approval for distribution. I found this topic and product to be interesting, especially since it is creating such a stir so I thought I would share what we wrote:
Concerns Surrounding New Powdered Alcohol Product
Valdosta, GA: “Palcohol,” is a powered alcohol being produced by an Arizona based company Lipsmack LLC that has hopes of hitting the shelves in the near future. Recently this new product has been getting a lot of media attention; while it was initially approved, federal regulators have now rescinded that decision. Mark Phillips, the creator, designed this powdered substance for use in situations such as camping or traveling when carrying around large bottles would be difficult. With Palcohol all you need to do is mix the powder with a little water and you have a drink. However, with the development of this new substance many are worried about the consequences surrounding the misuse of powdered alcohol.
“As is true with the introduction of any new substance, there is always the risk of unanticipated negative consequences. People may look at powdered alcohol as being safer than drinking regular alcohol because it is being diluted in water. That fact, along with the ease in which the product allows people to take alcohol with them wherever they go, increases the likelihood that the substance will begin to become overly abused. Similarly, it is not unreasonable to hypothesize that the likelihood that the rate of alcohol addiction will be on the rise as well.”
Most of the current media buzz has been focused on the abuse potential of Palcohol. Since it is in powdered form many are concerned with the fact that it can be snorted. The reason behind this concern is that snorting this substance could possibly get you drunk instantly and potentially cause damage to the nasal passage. However, the company has stated that they have added volume to their product so that it would take more than half a cup of powder to get the equivalent of one drink up your nose. This however has not lessened the fear that some individuals will choose to abuse Palcohol in this manner.
Another concern is about the convenience of having alcohol in a powdered form. One packet of Palcohol only weighs an ounce making it more portable than a flask of liquor. Alcohol is already a problem at many sporting events or concerts, and Palcohol would make it that much easier to sneak alcohol into events. Additionally, the packets contain anywhere from 30% to 60% ethanol, which is almost twice the amount in a can of beer. This leads many to fear the outcome that would result from consuming more than one packet at a time.
“Using a substance like Palcohol can cause major health risks for individuals within our community. The results from alcohol poisoning are already well-known, so by adding in the fact that people may not be aware of just how much of the substance they are ingesting, people may actually be putting their lives in even greater danger. If this product becomes widespread, it would not be surprising to see an increase in the amount of alcohol poisoning incidents that result.”
Many parent groups and addiction experts are strongly opposed to the approval of powdered alcohol because they believe that the product can be easily obtained and abused by underage drinkers. Many hold the view that this is just one more thing for adolescents to get excited about and try because it is the newest trend on the market.