I was approached by another Substance Abuse Specialist in the office asking if I had heard of smoking alcohol. I had not and began to research. I found a Dr. Brett Roth, Medical Director of the North Texas Poison Control Center, explaining that there are no studies on the effects of smoking alcohol. However, he explained that smoking alcohol allows the alcohol to bypass the liver and go straight into the bloodstream through the lungs. This can damage the lungs and esophagus and increases the risk of alcohol poisoning. Some justify the smoking of alcohol by stating it is a way to drink and avoid the calories of alcohol and have begun to coin the phrase “drunkorexia”. There are a few different ways to inhale alcohol. One method involves pouring alcohol over dry ice and inhaling the smoke. Another method is to use a plastic bottle, fill it with alcohol, cork the bottle, insert and use a bicycle pump to fill it and then pop the cork, inhaling the fumes. And then finally, there is the "Vaportini," (see above picture) to free-base alcohol. Broderic Allen reports he lost 80 lbs when he stopped drinking and wanted to keep the weight off. He discovered he could smoke his alcohol and avoid the calories. Dr. Harris Stratyner, Regional Clinical Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers in New York, reports that, "One of the things that prevent alcohol poisoning is that you usually vomit," Stratyner said. "When you circumvent the stomach and go straight to the lungs, you don't have that ability.” One is still able to taste the alcohol so it is much the like experience of flavored hookah and even bars.
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