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Powdered Alcohol: An ER Visit Waiting to Happen?

04-01-2015
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Americans will soon have the option of consuming alcohol in a new way. It's called powdered alcohol, or Palcohol, and it's recently been approved by the government.

Palcohol comes in a pouch containing the equivalent of a shot and half of freeze-dried alcohol and flavorings. You just add water to create an instant cocktail.

"It's sounds kind of gross; makes me think of Alka-Seltzer," student Dillon Tanksley said.

Public health officials worry Palcohol makes it easier for minors to get away with drinking.

"This is going to be a lot easier to transport. No longer do you need to hide a bottle. Now you only need to hide a pouch," Dr. Gaylord Lopez, with the Georgia Poison Center, said.

There's also concern that people may use it to invent new ways to abuse alcohol, creating a spike in emergency room visits.

"Whether it's people trying to inject it, people trying to snort it or mix it with other products," Lopez said.

But the makers of Palcohol balk at such claims in a video on their website.

"There is absolutely no reason why someone would snort powdered alcohol when they can do a shot in two seconds and accomplish the same thing," the company claims in the video.

Some college students say it's particularly dangerous to kids who typically drink too much.

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