Editorial: Teens find bizarre, dangerous ways to get drunk
February 14, 2012
I recently found out about some bizarre new ways teens are getting alcohol into their systems. The ones that stuck out the most to me are the highly graphic methods that have been hot topics in national and local news. These include using vodka-soaked tampons and using beer bongs rectally.
I did research and found out that far from untrue, these methods are being implemented by young adults – both males and females – across the nation, and causing dangerous health issues. According to a Phoenix CBS news article, this trend was tipped off by reported cases of alcohol poisoning caused by people “utilizing” these methods.
Even though I’ve never heard of anyone I know using these methods, it is shocking and frustrating to hear that teens across the US have. My biggest question, after my initial reaction of shock and disgust, was why?
I tried to find a possible explanation as to why some teens need to get drunk so quickly that they skip drinking or even chugging and find ways to get alcohol into their bloodstream in the least amount of time possible.
Perhaps it’s because our generation seems to want everything in the moment – our smart phones access information literally in a matter of seconds, not to mention the constant feed of information we get simply by logging onto Facebook or Twitter. This raises another question: has our need to have information instantly in our hands trickled down into our drinking habits? Do modern teens need to be instantly drunk? The idea is scary.
The reason that the CBS article gave for why teens do this is so that the smell of alcohol can’t be detected on their breath. To me, this is not a good enough excuse to put oneself at such risk.
The reason? Not only will the alcohol damage the body tissues, but drinkers run the risk of blacking out with less warning. When a person drinks, the alcohol passes through the stomach acid and causes “the tell tale sign” that they’ve had too much – vomiting. People who insert alcohol directly into the blood stream don’t have this warning. The article explains that by using methods like vodka (or any other liquor, for that matter) soaked tampons, the alcohol “gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream. There’s no barrier, there’s no stomach acid to prevent it.”
Part of me is still shocked and unable to believe that this is all true. However, this is my advice to my peers: enjoy the end of high school and college – but be smart. Don’t be remembered forever for doing something stupid that put your life at risk.