People using hand sanitizer to get drunk


People, even teens are drinking hand sanitizer to get drunk.

You might have a bottle at your desk, or in your purse. Ingredients on one bottle says 62 percent Ethyl Alcohol, and the purpose- sanitze. But some people are using that 62 percent for another use.

Teens in Los Angeles were sent to the hospital after drinking alcohol they separated from hand sanitizer by using salt.

"Of the students that we have here, sure, several have said that they tried it," said Wayne Seomo with Teen Challenge International Mid-America. "Something to try, something different, a different effect."

Seomo said he's not surprised by the fad.

"Just something to talk to their friends about and say hey have you tried this have you tried that," said Seomo.

Dana Branson works at the Family Counseling Center in Cape Girardeau. She said a woman who stayed at the center drank the sanitizer.

"She did become intoxicated, we had to take her to the hospital she did achieve her goal, but she also got deathly sick afterwards," said Branson.

Both Branson and Seomo said the people they've seen use household products in a way to get high, is last resort tactic.

"Just because they didn't have access to drugs or alcohol, so they're looking for something," said Seomo.

"It's usually because they don't have any other choices, it's an act of desperation," said Branson.

An act of desperation to escape other worldly problems.

"Some people just want to escape their problems sometimes people just very much want to be altered in some manner, so they use those things at hand," said Branson.

"They're looking for ways out, they're looking for something that will help them deal with all the problems of life," said Seomo.

But the effects from drinking the hand sanitizer are worse than dealing with life problems, or even just getting drunk.

"Some of them have had some very ill effects, it's not just because of the alcohol but the other ingredients, can cause some harmful effects," said Seomo.

Seomo said he's also worried about the long term effects from the other ingredients in the sanitizer.

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