Powdered Alcohol: A New Risk for Teens?
Powdered alcohol may not be available on liquor store shelves just yet, but concern about the new product has been steadily growing in recent months. Known as Palcohol, this powdered substance was developed for the primary purpose of easily bringing alcoholic beverages on camping excursions and other outings where liquids and bottles could be an obstacle. However, the “what if’s?” associated with this product have been enough to get members of Congress in a major battle to have the substance banned before it even goes to market.
The hoopla over Palcohol officially began in March, when the product was approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. This federal agency is responsible for approving the production, importation and marketing of alcoholic products in the U.S. Since its approval, state and federal lawmakers have jumped to action, introducing bills to ban the substance. Leading the charge is Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who introduced a bill to ban the substance completely on a federal level.
About the Product
Palcohol is the creation of Mark Phillips, who describes himself on the product website as an “active guy who likes to have a drink every now and then in places where bottles and mixers are inconvenient.” The powder comes in five varieties; rum, vodka, cosmopolitan, lemon drop and “powderita,” which is a powdered version of a margarita. All flavors except lemon drop have been approved. The powder can be mixed with water to create a mixed beverage, comparable to other powdered drinks like Kool-aid, only with the alcohol content already included.
Potential Dangers for Teens
Experts are already foreseeing some of the risks of this new product if Palcohol actually goes to market, particularly on teens. Schumer and others have voiced concern that the powder substance would be easy for teens to slip into sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages. There has been speculation the powder could be sprinkled on food or even snorted, although creators of the substance have stated the discomfort of snorting alcohol would make this practice highly unlikely.
Playing the Waiting Game
For now, Palcohol’s parent company Lipsmark is closely watching the political climate before determining where to build a manufacturing plant for the product. The company is also feeling out potential distributors to see what kind of market Palcohol might have. In the meantime, lawmakers are working hard to ensure this new and potentially dangerous substance never makes it that far in the U.S.
Substance abuse and addiction is a serious problem among adolescents in the U.S. Adding more products to the market would only serve to exacerbate the problem. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, help is available. Contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers at 866-889-3665 to learn more about our treatment programs and get the help you need today.