By Jenny Hunt
January 27, 2012
Lock up the Tampax, Mom and Dad, teens have found a new way to get drunk.
My first reaction to this story was utter disbelief. I had to do some serious research to confirm that this was a real story. Several reputable news sources have written stories about this phenomenon. Teens around the country are supposedly using alcohol soaked tampons to get drunk. Does this mean that is actually happening?
Known as “butt chugging” the method of consumption involves soaking a tampon in vodka and inserting it rectally or vaginally. KPHO in Phoenix reports that there have
been cases of teens being hospitalized for consuming alcohol this way. And it’s not just girls who are doing it.
Experts say using vodka tampons to consume alcohol reportedly gives you a stronger, quicker drunk than oral consumption. Apparently, the vodka tampon method of consumption is the “ultimate body shot.” By using vodka tampons, alcohol is absorbed through the mucus membranes directly into the blood stream. Also, because the alcohol is not being consumed orally, teens think it is easier for teens to hide the fact that they are drinking. However, when alcohol is metabolized, a portion is released through the saliva, no matter how it is ingested. Also, vodka tampons won’t fool a Breathalyzer, as the test measured blood alcohol content. So apparently, the teens that are doing this are not hiding it as well as they think.
Risks of this using vodka tampons include severe mucosal irritation and bleeding. Several doctors have commented that the use of vodka tampons may be mildly to severely painful, depending on the user. It has also been said that the use of vodka tampons will “literally destroy the vagina.”
There is also a strong risk of overdose with vodka tampons. Because the teens are not ingesting the alcohol orally, they override the body’s natural response to overconsumption: regurgitation. Also, the alcohol does not come into contact with stomach acid so it does not get broken down before entering the blood stream. Alcohol poisoning is a huge risk with the use of vodka tampons.
So are teens really using vodka tampons to get drunk? Critics say that the legend of the vodka tampons has been around for almost a decade and that it is nothing but urban legend, much like the so-called “rainbow parties” that were reported a few years back. A blogger from the Huffington Post reportedly tried to use vodka tampons and did not have good results.
Alternate routes of consuming alcohol are nothing new. In 2010, vodka eyeballing was reported as a growing trend among university students in the United Kingdom. Several YouTube videos were posted showing kids imbibing alcohol this way. “Vodka snorting” was also reported by several British bar owners as an alternate route for ingesting alcohol in UK students; reportedly inducing an instant blackout in some drinkers.
Whether or not this is a real trend in teens, the important thing for parents is to have open and honest communication with their child about drugs and alcohol. Surveys confirm that teens are much less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol if they are well informed by their parents about them.