Powdered Alcohol, Ever Heard Of It?
Powdered alcohol is not a recent invention, but it may be new to your ears. The technology has been around since the 1970s with a Japanese company SureShot as stated by NBC News. Powdered alcohol is typically made by micro-encapsulation where the particles are surrounded by a coating creating micro metric scale capsules. Itty bitty particles in other words. When mixed with liquid, it becomes an alcoholic beverage. Palcohol was created by the company Lipsmark. The product was originally designed to make transportation easier on outings such as backpacking, kayaking, etc., but has quickly become a popular option for recreational abuse.
1 pouch of powdered alcohol is equal in potency to 1 shot of liquor, and is meant to be mixed with 5oz of liquid to create a cocktail within the pouch. All that one would need to do is add the liquid to the powder, zip the pouch and shake it up! Then, viola, you have yourself an instant alcoholic drink, with flavors such as vodka, rum, cosmopolitan and margarita. Of course, powdered alcohol is still just as alcoholic and carries all the same risks and dangers of regular liquid alcoholic beverages, and it is only legal to those over the age of 21.
The Risks of Powdered Alcohol
Now come the additional concerns with alcohol that is powdered. The product pouch makes it easy for transportation, but it also makes it easy to conceal and take places where it is not allowed, such as youth bringing it into school or events. There is a greater chance of powdered alcohol being used to lace drinks, or of snorting powdered alcohol, either alone or mixed with other substances. This brings the danger of experimentation with powdered alcohol by youth to a higher degree of urgency.
The packaging also resembles a juice pouch, and if it were misplaced by adults, it could fall into the hands of a child and cause alcohol poisoning. While ingesting the powder would cause a burning sensation, and it would have an unappetizing gel-like texture when mixed with moisture in the mouth, this unpleasant experience may not be enough to completely stop the process of accidentally consuming it.
Powdered Alcohol Banned In California
Although legal a few years ago, new legislation in California prohibits powdered alcohol. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is required by law to revoke or suspend your alcoholic beverage license if you offer for sale, manufacture, or distribute powdered alcohol. Any person who purchases, possesses, or uses powdered alcohol is guilty of an infraction and subject to a fine of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125).
Whether powdered or liquid, be responsible with the intake of alcoholic products. Alcohol is a depressant and impairs judgement in either form. Alcohol is the most abused substance in the United States already. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates 855,000 youth ages 12-17 suffer from alcohol use disorders. Alcohol now accounts for a greater percentage of deaths worldwide than HIV, AIDS, violence and tuberculosis combined, affirmed by a report from The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development.