Will Palcohol Increase Underage Drinking?
If you haven’t heard of Palcohol yet, you’re not alone. The new, mysterious powdered alcohol mix inching it’s way toward the open market has raised red flags with both Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and government officials who are concerned the substance could cause underage drinking and teen binge drinking to spiral out of control.
Palcohol comes packaged in a small foil bag similar in style to a Capri Sun juice box. Mark Phillips, creator of Palcohol, created the bag to ‘become the glass’ for the beverage. To drink, all you need to do is add 5 ounces of water, shake the bag for half a minute, then consume. If you don’t want to finish your beverage in one sitting, the bag will also store your drink for a later time.
Each individual serving of Palcohol has the same alcohol content as a single shot, but if you’re comparing drink for drink alcohol levels, you’ll have to drink more Palcohol to become intoxicated because you have to add 5 ounces of liquid.
Although it’s concerning enough that people would consider drinking a powdered alcohol substance, Phillips has cautioned people to not try to snort Palcohol. In a Youtube video he published, he encouraged people to be responsible and not inhale the substance because it’s only the equivalent of one drink.
As of right now, the FDA has not approved Palcohol for distribution. What may be influencing them is the outrage over the substance, with New York Senator Chuck Schumer asking the FDA to flat out ban Palcohol before it has a chance to be consumed by anyone. Just like MADD, Schumer believes the packaging of the drink to look like a common juice box will influence teens to try underage drinking and may influence those same teens to binge drink.
MADD continues to ask parents to sit down and talk honestly with their teens about underage drinking, and hopes that substances like Palcohol will go by the wayside the way other alcohol fads have.