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Teen alcohol trends: What you need to know

Teen alcohol trends: What you need to know


Do you ever feel like teens are talking in code? Some of the latest buzzwords refer to trends, like vaping or purple drank. If you are not up to date with the latest slang, your teens could be talking about underage drinking right in front of you – and you wouldn’t even know it.

Words and trends you need to know 


Vaping can refer to electronic cigarettes, but more often it is short for “vaporized alcohol.” Through a variety of methods, teens vaporize and then smoke, instead of drink, alcohol.

Other than just doing it because it is a new, creative and quick way to get drunk, teen girls smoke alcohol because they think by smoking the liquor, they can get drunk calorie-free. This is not true. If you feel the effects of the alcohol, you have absorbed the calories.

Danger: As you can imagine, vaping is dangerous. When smoking alcohol there is no way of monitoring how much is ingested and because it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, the body can’t reject the poison by vomiting.

Purple drank a.k.a. Sizzurp

Purple drank is not a new brand of juice, but instead, a toxic mix of Sprite, Jolly Ranchers and prescription-strength cough syrup. This drink is particularly popular in the rap/hip-hop community due to being mentioned in songs by Three 6 Mafia, Jay-Z and most notably, “Like a G6” by Far East Movement.

Danger: The biggest concern with sizzurp is addiction. The cough syrup contains codeine, which like other opiate-based painkillers can cause physical dependence.

Alcohol enema a.k.a. butt chugging

Butt chugging is the act of ingesting alcohol through ones rectum through a tube and funnel. The method originated in frat houses and tends to be used at parties.

Danger: Butt chugging is dangerous because there is no way to measure how much alcohol is actually absorbed and thus, it is easy to overdose.

Drinking hand sanitizer a.k.a. hand sanitrippin’ or a hand sanity fix

This is exactly what it sounds like – teens drinking Purell. Teens drink hand sanitizer because it is easy to get and has a high alcohol content. To get the sanitizer ready to drink, teens mix it with Listerine to make a strong minty cocktail, mix the gel with salt to separate the alcohol from the gel or distill the alcohol from hand sanitizer.

Danger: The main problem with drinking hand sanitizer is the dangerously high alcohol content. Teens can drink too much before even feeling the effects.

Vodka eyeballing

Although the popularity of vodka eyeballing is debatable, you should still know it exists. It is the practice of using an eyedropper to insert vodka into the eye socket.  Like with vaping, the alcohol bypasses the digestive system and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Danger: Negative effects include permanently watering or sore eyes and even vision loss. Also, because the alcohol does not enter the stomach, the body can’t reject the alcohol by vomiting.

While all these trends may worry you, there is a way to prevent underage drinking – talk to your teen. Inform your teen about the dangers of underage drinking and these trends. They do listen.

Want to be an advocate for prevention? Print out this blog post’s corresponding poster (PDF) and ask your teen’s school to post it. Giving teens information is how we can help guide good choices.

Image Copyright:  iQoncept/Shutterstock    

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