Teens Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizer

Health officials are warning parents about the latest, dangerous Teen Trend – drinking hand sanitizer.  Dr. Cyrus Rangan, medical toxicology consultant for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles held a news conference yesterday about a new household product teenagers are using to get intoxicated.

Dr. Rangan reports,  ”All it takes is just a few swallows and you have a drunk teenager… There is no question that it is dangerous.”

Over the past few months, six teenagers have shown up in Los Angeles area emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning after drinking the cheap, easily accessible product. Hand sanitizers contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol and can make a 120-proof liquid. Some of the teens used salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, creating a drink similar to a shot of hard liquor.

Helen Arbogast, an injury prevention coordinator in the trauma program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, told ABC news that the trend was not just happening on the west coast: “It’s not just localized to us. Since 2009 we can see on YouTube it’s in all regions of the country. We see it in the South, in the Midwest, in the East.”

Health experts recommend that parents purchase the foam version of hand sanitizer, since it’s harder to extract the alcohol, potentially dissuading teens from drinking it.

What are your thoughts on the latest scary Teen Trend?


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