The ability to drink alcohol is a privilege for those 21 and older in the United States, but many people that privilege for granted by practicing unsafe drinking habits. You’ve undoubtedly heard about the dangers of binge drinking and drinking and driving, but there are a few other trends that are equally as dangerous.
You’ve probably heard of several popular alcoholic beverages that combine liquor or beer with energy shots or caffeine. Rum and coke and jager bombs are just a few of the more popular ones. But what actually happens when you mix alcohol – a depressant that slows your body down – with a caffeine – a stimulant that speeds your body up?
For many reasons, mixing alcohol and caffeine is dangerous. First, let’s look at the basic characteristic of both. Alcohol is a depressant and caffeine is a stimulant. Mixing the two can cause the stimulant to hide the effects of alcohol, making drinkers feel livelier than they normally would.
Not feeling the depressant effects of alcohol can make people susceptible to consuming many more drinks and becoming drunk much quicker than they realize.
Why would this be a problem? Research shows that people who add caffeine to their cocktail are at greater risk of being in an accident or making a decision they will later regret. In fact, the rate of ER cases involving energy drinks in general doubled from 10,000 in 2007 to 20,000 in 2011. About 2,600 of those in 2011 involved alcoholic energy drinks.
Ever since Red Bull was created in 1987, it has become a staple in most bars and served with a variety of different alcoholic beverages. The term “liquid courage” is given a new meaning when someone has consumed a large amount of alcohol paired with 3 or 4 energy drinks in a short amount of time.
Other dangerous alcohol practices
Consuming alcohol is no longer limited to just drinking it. New trends have emerged that are not only outlandish, but EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
Contrary to the Danish myth that alcohol can be absorbed through one’s feet, a study proved this to be false. However, this hasn’t stopped people from experimenting to find places in the body that alcohol can be absorbed and at dangerous concentrations.
Take for instance alcohol enemas, where a small tube is placed into someone’s rectum and alcohol is poured directly into their colon. Because the alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream (instead of passing through the liver which filters out and processes alcohol so it doesn’t wreak havoc on your body) through this section of the intestinal system, the ‘drinker’ becomes intoxicated very quickly and a rate that is roughly five times the legal limit!
This is what some doctors have referred to as the “death zone” of alcohol poisoning.
Another emerging trend is known as “slimming”. This is where tampons are soaked in alcohol and inserted into the vagina or rectum in order to get drunk without having the smell of alcohol on your breath. Not only would this be painful and could cause further complications to one’s genitals, it is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! Similar to enemas, the alcohol is not digested by your liver and directly enters the bloodstream causing individuals to become intoxicated at alarming levels.
Last but not least is arguably one of the most disturbing trends yet: breathable alcohol. This method is when alcohol is vaporized and gets absorbed through one’s eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Again, the alcohol bypasses the liver and enters the bloodstream directly causing intense and immediate intoxication.
But why would people be interested in consuming alcohol in these ways? The arguments are that these methods of consuming alcohol provide less calorie intake, faster intoxication, and for underage drinkers, a more discreet way to consume alcohol without parents or other authority figures finding out.
Although it may seem like a good idea, trust me, it’s not. Ingesting alcohol in a way that it wasn’t made to be ingested can have serious consequences for yourself and others around you including DUI, alcohol poisoning and even death. So do yourself a favor, and if you’re going to drink, actually drink it, in moderate amounts of course. And if you’re underage, just wait until you’re 21.
Photo Credit: Derek Jones | Freeimages.com