Powdered Alcohol, or Palcohol: Coming Soon to a Town Near You?

There has been a lot of buzz recently about powdered alcohol, also called Palcohol, which was set to hit the shelves in America in the fall. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the label back in early April, yet due to reasons yet to be disclosed, they have since rescinded the label approval. Some believe that the decision came after a backlash from Congress.
Powdered Alcohol, or Palcohol: Coming Soon to a Town Near You?

Although many people, especially parents of teens, are happy to hear of the setback, it could be just a short time before Palcohol gets the labels approved and we’ll see the little alcohol packets in stores around the country. Seeing as how the discrepancy seems to be in the amount of powder in each packet, founding company Lipsmark assures the public that they will re-submit the labels in due time.

A Variety of Powdered Alcohol Drinks

This is good news for some alcohol drinkers, who feel that having alcohol packets handy in purses and pockets sure beats lugging around heavy cans and bottles of alcohol. Palcohol will come in a variety of drinks, including rum, vodka and four cocktails: Mojito, Cosmopolitan, Powderita and Lemon Drop. Once the makers gauge the popularity of these drinks, they will decide whether to expand or not.

While some celebrate the possibilities of Palcohol, there are others who are outraged with the product. Health officials and concerned adults are doing what they can to keep Palcohol off store shelves, stating that this is not something teens or adults should get their hands on. The ease of use by teens makes it a parent’s nightmare. What parent wants to worry about their teens pouring the powder into their cereal or macaroni and cheese, getting intoxicated while eating their meals? Additionally, for those struggling with alcohol problems, concealing powder packets to make a cocktail during work breaks is just too easy.

In the U.S., over 17 million people abuse or are dependent upon alcohol. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in America, with one out of every 12 adults abusing it. It is safe to say that America may be in greater need of substance abuse outreach and preventative services, not more enticing alcohol products.

Palcohol Snorting?

Palcohol’s website warns users not to snort the powder, stating that it is harmful. But since when does the threat of harm stop addicts from doing what they shouldn’t? Snorting Palcohol is dangerous because the alcohol is absorbed instantly into the bloodstream, making intoxication immediate. At one point, Palcohol had this comment on its website:

“Let’s talk about the elephant in the room….snorting Palcohol. Yes, you can snort it. And you’ll get drunk almost instantly because the alcohol will be absorbed so quickly in your nose. Good idea? No. It will mess you up. Use Palcohol responsibly.”

Since then, the statement has been removed, with comments about how they were just testing out various verbiage during the initial website setup phase. Still, the paragraph is all over the web, informing those who didn’t know you could snort alcohol that they can. The makers of Palcohol did mention that they were going to change the formula so that snorting Palcohol would cause more pain in the nose than would be worth the effort to get intoxicated that way.

Mark Phillips, the creator of Palcohol, says he created the powder because he didn’t want to lug heavy alcohol containers around while doing activities like hiking or camping. It’s not the first time a patent for powdered alcohol has surfaced. Back in the 70s, General Foods Corporation applied for a powdered alcohol product very similar to Palcohol, though nothing came of it.

Will Palcohol be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau? While some are hoping it will be, there are many who hope that Congress will exert enough pressure to deny label approval over and over again.

Posted on May 12th, 2014
Posted in Substance Abuse

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