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Alarming New Trend Teens Are Using To Get Drunk: Hand Sanitizer

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Utica, NY (WIBX) - From drinking rubbing alcohol to licking deodorant … for years now, we’ve been warned about teens using a number of household products to get high. And this time, a new warning has surfaced about the dangers of hand sanitizers.

“Apparently there’s been some talk across the nation of people using things like hand sanitizers, from drinking cases, to get the alcohol out of there and it’s been something that poison control has started to bring to the attention of the population that this has been going on, and that we better be aware of it,” said Paul Vitagliano, Prevention Director at Insight House.

He says poison control recommend that parents buy the foam kind of hand sanitizer instead of the liquid kind teens are seen squirting into their mouths on youtube videos. He says the motivation is to injest the potent alcohol contained in the product. He said, “There’s actual videos of people squirting what is on our sink pedestal into their mouths, and feeling the effects of the alcohol that is in there.”

Vitagliano says he’s had experience working with people who use an array of household products to get high, “people trying to lick deodorant, people buying certain shampoos and products that have alcohol in them, which I think speaks volumes to the desperation people experience when they’re seeking that high or altered state of mind,” he said.

He says despite the bad news regarding this new alarming trend teens are using to get drunk, prevention and educational programs, and parents talking to teens about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, does work. “Unfortunately we see the small portion of the population that continues to do it and it frustrates us, but we have to realize that we have made a positive impact,” he said. He points to a number of markers like the drop in drunk driving numbers and cigarette use by teens, as an indicator that efforts to curb dangerous behaviors does make an impact.

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