When Vodka-Soaked Tampons Don't Get Teens High, Hand Sanitizer Works Every Time


Was it only last fall that we learned that today's kids, raised on video games, extreme Cheet-os, and high-fructose corn syrup and devoid of any possible future due to deep cuts in the funding of pre-K music programs, student loan debt loads approaching $25,000, and the prospect of having their parents carry their insurance for five extra years were shoving vodka-soaked tampons up their rectums in a desperate attempt to escape this world of ashes for a little while? It all seemed so innocent.

Here's the latest scare ripped from the emergency rooms of the San Fernando Valley where the Brady Bunch once frolicked:

Six teenagers have shown up in two San Fernando Valley emergency rooms in the last few months with alcohol poisoning after drinking hand sanitizer.

Some of the teens used salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, making a potent drink similar to a shot of hard liquor. Distillation instructions can be found on the Internet.

Although there's only been a few cases, county public health toxicology expert Cyrus Rangan says it could signal a dangerous trend.

Half-a-dozen kids in two ERs over the last few months? Get me Quincy, stat! He handled that attempt to push Abby into a "codeine overdose" so well back in the day (circa 2.20):

NEXT: What We Saw at the Occupy the Justice Dept. Rally in DC!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Welp, I think we all know where this is going.

    1. Hmmm.

      Its been a while since I was a teenager but I really wouldn’t have been too interested in drinking lysol and salted hand sanitizer.

    2. You thinking a requirement to be 18 or older to purchase hand sanitizer or a limit to how much can be purchased, like the limit on Sudafed?

      1. The best way to put a stop to this is to eliminate the precursors to this insidious new from of alcohol. We need to require anyone who purchases salt to register into a national database and limit their purchases to no more than 2.3 grams per day.

        1. We need to make sure they can’t get Nyqil, Listerine or Sterno either.

          Gateway drugs, all.

          1. Nah. Nyquil sucks now. I’ve drunk a whole bottle, and gotten nothing but the nasty taste. Drew Brees lied to me!

    3. Remember the good old days of being a teenager when you could spray Novocain into a bag, freeze it to produce enough cocaine for an interesting night of shits and giggles? The kids are reduced to this just to get alcohol?

  2. Not sure if they were local or not, but there was a band called the ‘Quincy Punks’.

    1. There’s also a kick-ass Spoon song called Quincy Punk Episode.

      1. Ah, Spoon. One of few modern bands that doesn’t annoy the hell out of me.

    2. You’re thinking of the band “Quincy Punx” from the Twin Cities.

      1. Yep – thanks, thom!

  3. On the plus side, these scares seem to be taken seriously by fewer and fewer people every time. Soon it will just be Nic Kristof and the Jezebel writers yelling at each other that something needs to be done.

  4. Ban sanitizers and the kids can work on getting high off their MRSA infections… we just have to figure out which works best, huffing the sores or smoking the dried boil flakes.

    1. Yet another fun med fact: You can get herpes from breathing in Bovie smoke plumes during electrocauterzation procedures.

      1. I guess this is how you try to explain away your lung herp.

        1. I just blame you and your seething cauldron of death.

    2. Of course, this is assuming that the sanitizers actually do anything in 99% of the cases in which they are used other than depress immune function.

  5. isn’t getting a bottle of vodka easier than separating hand sanitizer? These kids need be to slapped upside the head for being so stupid. When I was a kid we drank Annie Green Springs and we liked it.

    1. Since when can’t you get your hands on some Mad Dog?

      1. No, no. Cisco.

        1. That stuff is high dolla’

          Thunderbird, box wine, grain alcohol… all within the price range of your average teenager just looking to get snorted.

          1. Georgi vodka with Key Food cranberry juice. Or pretty much any vodka they sell in plastic bottles.

            1. My favorite laugh from the latest James Bond flicks is the conspicuous consumption of Smirnoff as if it were a refined, cultured beverage.

          2. What’s the word? Thunderbird.
            How’s it sold? Good and cold.
            What’s the jive? Bird’s alive.
            What’s the price? Thirty twice.

            1. Don’t forget the paper bag.

          3. Thunderbird was the poor man’s drink of choice back in my day. While we walked in the snow to school, uphill both ways.

            1. If you ever think it’s a good idea to chug an entire bottle of thunderbird in a hot tub at a B-school party, let me assure you it is not.

      2. Wild Irish Rose, my friend.

        1. Night Train is the only way to ride.

          Fine Apple Wine. Best Served Very Cold.

          1. Best Served Very Cold.

            …and to someone else.

      3. Boones’ Farm Strawberry Hill Bitches!

    2. Vanilla is roughly 80 proof alcohol.

      A couple of ounces of cheap vanilla in a half-can of soda and you’re on your way.

      1. From Wikipedia:

        Pure vanilla extract is made by macerating and percolating vanilla beans in a solution of ethyl alcohol and water. In the United States, in order for a vanilla extract to be called pure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that the solution contain a minimum of 35% alcohol and 13.35 ounces of vanilla bean per gallon.

        Sorry, only 70 proof.

    3. I’m tempted to say this stupidity is as good a way as any of strengthening the gene pool.

  6. Why does San Fernando Valley hate evolution?

    1. Obviously, Californika stopped teaching Dawwin many years ago.

  7. Clearly any time anything bad happens to more than two people, it signals a dangerous trend and the item in question must be banned.

    Except for driving, because we need it.

    1. Come on man, we all know that teens never gather in more than groups of two.

    2. “You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.”

      I think you need at least three people.

      1. For some reason, i keep hearing that quote in Quincy’s voice.

    3. Except for driving, because we need it.

      You say that as if these people have no desire to ban driving. All of their activities regarding transportation policy suggests otherwise.

  8. Isn’t isopropyl alcohol toxic?

    1. That’s what I was just about to get into. Why would hand sanitizer contain ethyl alcohol instead of isopropyl alcohol? A few of those dopes going blind would teach em.

      1. Don’t try to make sense of this, Joe. It’s a MSM scare story. It contains enough weapons grade stupid to qualify as a war crime.

      2. I think it’s got both.

        1. Apparently, either can be used. You’d think they’d stick with isopropyl for non-recreational products.

      3. See below. Ethyl alcohol has a lower evaporation temperature and dries faster.

    2. All alcohol is toxic.

      1. Yeah, yeah, you know what I mean. More toxic than ethyl alcohol.

    3. Yes, and in very low doses.

      It’s all so very stupid. If you are going to drink it, just buy a bottle at the Walgreens.

    4. I went and checked the hand sanitizer on my office floor. Lo and behold, active ingredient, 62% ethyl alcohol.

          1. Well, then, have a drink!

            1. Just make sure to eat some yogurt. All that Triclosan ain’t good for your gut flora.

      1. BTW im so watsed irght now lolz/

        1. It’s basically just a loose Jello shot.

          1. And to think I’ve never been offered an aloe flavored one before Purell.

          2. Kind of like your stool?

            1. Your interest in the various products of my colon is unsettling, unseemly, and uninteresting.

              1. Maybe we can use this as the jumping off point for another subthread about shit-eating.

                1. enough about santorium. one must hold one’s nose and roundly endorse romney

            2. santorium!11!1!!!11

      2. Better than drinking Scope.

    5. They use ethyl alcohol in hand sanitizer. It evaporates faster. Far less tolerable is the assertion that hand sanitizer, being 60% alcohol can be distilled to 120 proof. It’s already 120 proof. If they’re putting 120 proof in and getting 120 proof out, all they are doing is vaporizing the stuff and recondensing it.

      1. Well, it says they used some kind of salt. Could be that they somehow removed the alcohol from all the perfumes, aloe, vitamin E, etc, which may just be a trivial amount of the total mass. Perhaps purifying is a better word.

        1. How to Use Salt to Separate Purell (cached eHow.com page)


          Combine 4 oz. of hand sanitizer gel with 1 tsp. of table salt.

          Cover a cup or bowl with several layers of cheesecloth or a similar porous material.

          Strain the mixture through the cheesecloth. The liquid ethyl alcohol will pass through, leaving the congealed salt and glycerin behind. In one experiment, the filtered liquid that resulted from this process was 70 percent ethyl alcohol and 2 percent isopropyl alcohol by volume.

          1. Any isopropanol = dealbreaker.

            1. If these kids were smart, they’d have a fake ID or know someone who did, Joe M.

            2. Just distill it afterward, and discard the shit that evaporates prior to reaching 172 degrees. Simple.

              1. Ethyl boils at 78.1 ?C, Iso at 82.5.

                1. He’s trying to kill you, obviously.

                2. So heat it to 80C and problem solved.

                  1. Note: There is a reason I wont be microdistilling.

                3. Methyl boils at 65, moron. And you don’t let the still get up to isopropyl boiling temp.

                  For a Kentucky retard, you sure are bad at moonshine.

                  1. Of course, heat the ethyl/iso mixture to 80C like robc suggests, then huff the vapors. Ain’t no drunk like a lung drunk, motherfuckers.

                    1. You’d probaby be better off heating it to 82C, getting all the iso into the vapor phase, and dumping out your first 10%, then capturing the rest. Interestingly, your product would probably be about 130 proof at that temperature compared to a 140 proof mixture before you started.

                    2. Is there an ethyl/iso azeotrope? That could be a problem.

                    3. There’s water in the mix and both alcohols form azeotropes with water so there is bound to be a weird ternary diagram for this system. Without taking some steps to break the azeotropes i think there will always be amounts of isopropanol (perhaps dangerous amounts) in the resultant solution.

                  2. If they were smart enough to set up a viable distillation rig, they’d be smart enough to get / make better drugs than alcohol.

          2. Yeah. I figured they weren’t separating alcohol and water this way. (although you can do it with a strong 70% isopropyl solution to dehydrate it — inefficient [you lose a lot of isopropyl], but you get a 99% isopropyl layer).

            1. Just wait until we have fusion and home replicators. Then kids will be illegally downloading instructions for making ethyl alcohol from other atoms.

              1. Then comes the inevitable atom ban.

                1. The media will call for it, while a few braves scientists try to explain how stupid and impossible that is.

                  1. It’ll be done incrementally. First they’ll just ban hydrogen, cause hey, it’s flammable and explosive. Do you really want your kids exposed to such dangers? Didn’t think so. Then Helium, what use is that? It makes people talk funny, and can cause suffocation. And don’t even get me started on Lithium…

              2. Worst. Use. Ever. Seriously, I will beat my kids senseless if they do dumbshit stuff like that. Dexadrine and morphine. Clean and smooth.

  9. z.On the plus side, think of all the science experience kids are getting these days. Drugs teach you metric units, distillation and liquid-liquid extraction, all before college. We’re raising a whole generation of chemical engineers, and they’re worried?

  10. we tried menthos n pepsi, which didnt get us drunk but it blowed-up real nice

  11. Everyday in lunch in high school,
    And all of my senior year,
    I’d drink my Coca-Cola with a touch of everclear.
    I never had to study math, science or history,
    I’d have a chemical flashback to jog my memory.

    1. hey….same song popped into my mind while reading this article……for me it was peppermint schnapps and green food coloring….got me thru most of highschool…

  12. Obviously the California legislature will take action on this issue by lowering the drinking age to 16 so that kids (who it is universally acknowledged are going to get high anyways) have legal access to a regulated product intended for human consumption and manufactured with a measure of quality control.


    1. My spleen – it ruptured of excessive laughter.

    2. Drinking age should be 14. The driving age should be 18. By the time they start driving, Thus, by the thrill of excessive drinking will be gone.

      1. That was an incredibly incompetent sentence. But you know what I mean.

  13. Get your moral panics straight. The girls/kids were supposedly shoving vodka-soaked tampons into their vaginas, not their rectums.

    As I recall, a woman correspondent from the Huffington Post actually tried it, and paid the price for her gullibility.

    1. The stupidity, it burns?

    2. If I remember right, she was pretty skeptical to begin with. But she reinforced the stupidity of the idea.

  14. Am I the only one who’s excited that our high schoolers have the ability to perform a moderately challenging chemistry experiement? Bravo San Fernando school system!

    Yeah, I try to keep the bar low.

  15. Why don’t we just ban activity and live like the people in that shitty Bruce Willis movie, ‘Surrogates’?

  16. By the way, if anyone hasn’t yet figured this out, the media is not your friend in the fight to end the drug war.

    1. It’s not clear that the media is an ally in ending the war on anything.

      1. War is the MSM’s lifeblood. Any kind of war.

      2. Where would the media be without trend stories? And nothing makes a good trend story like a new way to ingest a substance.

  17. OK, thinking out loud here, but what if you combined the two approaches. Hand sanitizer soaked tampons. Theoretically you wouldn’t have to wash up after inserting or removing.

    1. nice!

  18. But I hardly ever drink hand sanitizer at my rainbow parties.

    1. No, but hand sanitizer is the ideal chaser to a hit of JenKem.

    2. Idiot. All the best rainbow parties feature bath salts and whatever potpourri is currently being banned due to use as fake pot. Moron.

  19. The ends justify the means:


    1. So everything really is the the Republicans’ fault?

    2. Sweet Christ, how the fuck do these people operate with such delusion in their minds?

      1. Very profitably.

    3. “See, Bush did stuff I don’t like with Executive Power, but Obama, see, he’s doing what I want, so it makes sense, if you think about it.” Anonbot works for NYT.

    4. SOme credit to the comments, though. All of the reader’s choice comments call the author out on their stupid bullshit.

    5. Just WoW.

      Winston Smith 8495
      Everywhere, NY

      Whether Obama or Bush uses executive power to carry out his agenda, executive power is always dangerous. Still, it’s telling that as President, Obama didn’t abuse executive power to violate the Constitution to conduct illegal electronic surveillance on American’s private communication or to torture prisoners as Bush did.
      Instead, unlike Bush, Obama is using executive authority to improve environmental standards, to make college more affordable, to make student loan debt easier to pay off, and to improve hiring of veterans and individuals with disabilities.


  21. So when will the ATF drive these students to suicide like they did Popcorn Sutton?

    1. I have to do an industrial lifecycle analysis on PE. I wonder if I could slip this in as part of the literature review… I’m already considering using Uncle Fester as a source. Its really about the easiest place to find the industrial process on the internet these days.

    2. Dude that’s awesome. Have to remember that next time I get a cold.

    3. That paper wins the science contest.

  22. This just in: Gingrich tells Romney he will back him

    Newt Gingrich told Mitt Romney Wednesday he will try and help the presumptive Republican presidential nominee beat Barack Obama in November, acknowledging his bid for the White House has come to an end.

  23. That first link really burns my ass.

    1. What you did there, I see it.

  24. OT: Someone seems to have published specs of my new command center

    1. Please tell me there’s a viewing window to watch your enemies being eaten by sharks.

      1. Of course. It was built in compliance with the Evil Overlord list.

        Specifically: “Should I actually decide to kill the hero in an elaborate escape-proof deathtrap room (water filling up, sand pouring down, walls converging, etc.) I will not leave him alone five-to-ten minutes prior to “imminent” death, but will instead (finding a vantage point or monitoring camera) stick around and enjoy watching my adversary’s demise.”

        1. That’s better then the Bible. Definately more useful.

  25. Btw, where’s my hat tip for this from yesterday’s Google thread?

    1. It’s been soaked in vodka and is awaiting insertion into your vagina.

      1. Why not just soak the tampon in hand sanitizer?

        1. How about a hat tip for my idea. Scroll up.

  26. Get with the times. Everyone knows hand sanitizer is the new colchicine.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.