Drug substances are dangerous in any form, simply because they are chemical substances that can affect and destroy the normal functions of the human body. While these substances are truly not safe for use in any quantity by anyone of any age, it can be especially disturbing when they are made to be appealing to younger individuals – particularly children. It is for this reason that powdered alcohol should be illegal in every state in the country.
About Powdered Alcohol
Powdered alcohol, also called “Palcohol”, is a sugary alcoholic powder that can be snorted, eaten like Pixy Stix, added to food or even added to water. What is especially troubling is that there is little guidance on the safe amount for an individual to consume at one time, and in such small, easy-to-use packets, an individual can quickly consume a highly dangerous amount of this substance.
Palcohol may be available for purchase as early as this summer. This is cause for great concern because many individuals, including children, who do not understand the facts about drug substances and their effects on the human body. These individuals may decide that experimenting with new substances, like Palcohol, is safe and harmless. However, the sugary taste and the convenient packaging can lead individuals to consume more alcohol than they are aware they are consuming. It can make it far easier to hide alcohol from teachers, co-workers, bosses, parents and even law enforcement officials. It also has the potential to be greatly abused by individuals who may choose to mix Palcohol into others’ food and drink without their knowledge.
As it is, alcohol is already a top drug substance in use by American youth. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported in their Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey that two out of every three high school students in our country has tried alcohol, three had consumed it in the month prior to the survey and one in five had participated in binge drinking – consuming five or more drinks at one time – in the month prior to the survey.
According to the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey, children who begin to consume alcohol before the age of fifteen are five times more likely to have alcohol problems in their life, and four times more likely to become addicted to alcohol, compared to individuals who wait to consume alcohol when they are twenty-one or older. This makes Palcohol even more potentially damaging as it can be highly appealing and attractive to more youth who may not feel they have easy access to the regular forms of alcoholic products.
Taking Action Against Powdered Alcohol
Even prior to powdered alcohol’s approval for use, Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia banned it, and twenty-three other states are considering similar bans. Massachusetts banned Palcohol by ruling that it is not actually an “alcoholic beverage”, and Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board banned its sale in the state. Critics say that the bans on Palcohol are limiting individuals’ personal choice regarding consuming this product, but the fact remains that a dangerous trend of drug substance-containing products, such as alcoholic energy drinks and candy-flavored cigarettes, have proven disastrous to public health and have caused extensive harm.
Many physicians are highly supportive of a ban against Palcohol in every state in the country, simply to help protect children from being exposed to dangerous products. Simultaneously, access to alcohol treatment centers and programs should be increased so that those who need help for these problems receive it. The last thing that is needed is yet another dangerous product that is highly appealing and easily obtained.