Drinking alcohol in excess can be harmful to your health. But did you know smoking alcohol can be just as, or even more dangerous? Many people have never even heard of smoking alcohol. This practice has become more widespread over the past year, following a brief surge in popularity in the early 2000s. It’s sometimes referred to as AWOL, or alcohol without liquid.
So how do you smoke alcohol and why is it so dangerous? Let’s examine these questions.
What Is Smoking Alcohol?
Smoking alcohol doesn’t actually refer to lighting up a glass of wine or a shot. Instead, it involves turning the alcohol into gas form that can be inhaled. It’s usually done in one of two ways:
- Making a do-it-yourself vaporizing kit.
- Pouring alcohol on dry ice and breathing in the fumes.
Both methods are equally dangerous.
Why Do People Smoke Alcohol?
It takes a fair amount of work to produce AWOL, which prompts many to wonder why anyone would bother trying to ingest alcohol this way. There are two main reasons. The first is people who are trying to lose weight can get drunk without the calories. They don’t want to imbibe beer, wine or liquor for fear of ruining their diets. They view AWOL as a calorie-free way to party.
This method also attracts young risk takers who want to try something new. They like the adventure and the exotic nature of smoking alcohol instead of drinking it.
Alcohol Without Liquid: Dangers and Consequences
One of the biggest dangers of smoking alcohol is people get drunk quickly. The vaporous alcohol doesn’t have to pass through the stomach or the liver, which means it doesn’t get metabolized. It goes into the lungs and then hits the brain and the bloodstream. It results in nearly instantaneous drunkenness.
The dangers mount from there, including:
- The body has no way to defend itself from drinking too much. You will typically have the urge to vomit if you had an excessive amount to drink, but since AWOL bypasses the stomach, the body doesn’t get the chance to have that reaction.
- Alcohol poisoning can occur fast with AWOL. This is because the body can’t send the usual stomach and liver triggers that it’s had enough.
- There’s no way to know how much alcohol the person has had. Someone could take in the equivalent of 12 shots in a short amount of time without realizing it.
- The lungs aren’t built to ingest such a vaporous substance. A person using AWOL can develop lung and nose problems from inhaling the thick gas.
Perhaps most alarming of all, many people who smoke alcohol don’t consider themselves at risk for developing an addiction, because they’re not actually drinking. But AWOL can lead to addiction.
Avoid the Dangers of Smoking Alcohol
Have you or a loved one tried AWOL? Has it become a problem in your life? 12 Keys Rehab can help. Contact us today to set up a consultation.