Teenagers Turn to Hand Sanitizer for New High
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - Health experts say they are noticing a disturbing trend among California teenagers. More teens are turning to household hand sanitizer as a way to get intoxicated. A number of southern California doctors are reporting an increase in kids distilling hand sanitizer. It has happened six times already in the San Fernando Valley, just outside of Los Angeles.
It's what the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles calls a dangerous trend. Teens drinking hand sanitizer. A new technique distilling the cheap liquid has landed six teenagers in LA County emergency rooms in recent months. Most hand sanitizers have 62 percent ethyl alcohol. A quick check of the Internet shows how to use salt to separate the alcohol which creates a powerful 120 proof shot!
"A person who has never had alcohol before can get drunk instantaneously," says Dr. Calvin Lowe, Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "It is very very dangerous."
Teenagers have gotten drunk off mouthwash, cough syrup and even vanilla extract. And now the new high that parents fear is a new low. Doctors say its important for parents to have open discussions with their kids about the dangers of drugs and getting high from household items like hand sanitizer.