Hand Sanitizer-Not Just for Cleaning Anymore
Recently, the LA Times published an article about teenagers showing up in the emergency room with alcohol poisoning. However, they weren’t binge drinking beer or liquor; they were seriously intoxicated from drinking hand sanitizer. Ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which can be found in almost any home or purchased cheaply, can be distilled using instructions that teens access online. The drink made from such a process can be as high as 60% alcohol, which is 20% higher than vodka.
Ethyl alcohol is toxic and can cause serious physical harm. Furthermore, teens abusing hand sanitizer is probably a sign of further alcohol abuse or drug abuse. What can parents and other adults do to stop hand sanitizer abuse? Try storing hand sanitizer out of your teens’ reach, just like you do medicine and liquor. You can also buy foam sanitizer, which is less appealing and more difficult to distill. Better yet, talk to your children about drug and alcohol abuse. You can teach them valuable lessons about substance abuse and stop damage and possibly addiction before it starts. You may even be able to detect addiction and arrest it before it worsens.
If you aren’t sure how to discuss such a delicate subject, check out our resources about (Talking to Kids/Teens about Drugs and Alcohol Abuse). Drinking hand sanitizer may be the warning sign giving you the opportunity to intervene before it is too late.
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