Long Island Parent Talk

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Teens are smoking ... alcohol?

Teens are "smoking" alcohol -- inhaling the vapors

Teens are "smoking" alcohol -- inhaling the vapors to get drunk. (Credit: Fotolia)

Isn’t it enough to worry about our teens smoking cigarettes or pot? Now we also have to watch out for them smoking … alcohol?

The "Today" show is reporting that kids are watching YouTube videos that explain how to “inhale” alcohol vapors for a high without “drinking.” Kids put beer or whiskey or champagne or vodka into a plastic or liquor bottle, pump it with air using a bicycle or basketball pump, and then put their mouths over the opening to inhale the fumes. The fumes move instantly to the lungs and then the brain. The danger: People get drunk very quickly, and it’s easier to succumb to alcohol poisoning this way.

This is apparently a problem on Long Island as well. “Disproportionally teenage girls and college students, because of the concern about calories,” says Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency, a nonprofit addiction services agency for Nassau and Suffolk counties.


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“The problem is it’s not going into your stomach to be filtered,” Reynolds says. “If you drink too much, what happens? You throw up. Your body is doing that as a means of rejecting the substance and, quite frankly, saving your life.”

When “smoking” alcohol, kids also have no idea of how much they’ve actually consumed, Reynolds says. “There’s no benchmark in all of this,” he says.

Sometimes kids also think they’re not breaking the law because they aren’t “drinking.” That’s not true, Reynolds says. The alcohol will still show up in sobriety tests, he says.

Tags: news , parenting , tweens and teens , tv

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