“Palcohol is powdered alcohol” reads the Palcohol brand’s website. “A revolutionary new product!” The threat of powdered alcohol is not new. More than two years ago, powdered alcohol made headlines after receiving approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. As more than 20 states started to ban the substance, the Bureau suddenly realized it had made an “error” in their approval process and rescinded the approval. States across the country claimed that the substance was an unfathomable risk.
What is powdered alcohol?
From the name it is easy to assume that powdered alcohol quite literally is alcohol which has been freeze dried and turned into powder. Such is not the case. Powdered alcohol is a combination of alcohol and sugar. Ethyl alcohol gets absorbed by a sugar ‘container’. Basically, inside each bag of powdered alcohol is a bunch of complex sugar dust which happens to contain alcohol, like boozy pixie sticks for adults. Cyclodextrins are responsible for the relationship. These small sugar rings carry the alcohol within their anatomy. The sugar is just a carrying agent for the alcohol. When mixed with water, the carrier dissolves and the alcohol is released, creating an alcoholic beverage.
Can powdered alcohol be snorted?
Of course, the powdered substance can be snorted. What happens when the substance is snorted is another question. There isn’t necessarily enough moisture or liquid in the nasal cavity to break down the sugar, or the cyclodextrin. As a result, the compound can just get sticky and stuck in the nasal passage, slowly dissolving over time. Headaches, burning sensations, and a stuffed sinus can be the result.
Is powdered alcohol dangerous?
In single servings, the substance is not considered dangerous. Product makers claim that the substance is packaged in single servings of alcohol. A bottle of alcohol is meant to be served in single servings- that doesn’t stop people from drinking the whole bottle. Any kind of mind altering substance which can be easily manipulated or abused is dangerous and a potential threat.
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