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Vodka Tampons Dangerous Way Teens Use to Get Drunk


There’s the vodka martini, the vodka gimlet, and now the vodka tampon. Reports from Phoenix, Arizona, are that teens—both girls and boys—are using vodka-soaked tampons to get drunk fast, but this is not the first time this unusual “drinking” method has been practiced.

Vodka tampons can cause more than a high

Young people, and some older ones as well, frequently look for new ways to get drunk or high on drugs and alcohol. Often, these creative methods not only result in the desired high, they also prove to be dangerous, even deadly. Such is the case with vodka tampons.

The practice of soaking a tampon in vodka and then inserting it into the vagina (or into the rectum for males) has been going on for several years, but for many parents, it is the first time they have heard about this practice. According to Dr. Dan Quan, a physician at Maricopa Medical Center who was interviewed by the CBS station KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona, vodka tampons “can cause mucosal irritation, meaning the vaginal wall can be irritated.” The rectum can similarly be irritated by the alcohol.

A tampon can hold about one shot of vodka, and the liquor is rapidly absorbed into the system, providing a stronger, faster intoxication than drinking a shot. Because absorbing the alcohol through the mucous membranes doesn’t involve the digestive tract, the kids don’t experience any gag reflex, so they won’t throw up when they’ve had too much vodka and won’t know if they’ve got alcohol poisoning.

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Quan noted that “If a person does pass out or lose consciousness, health care professionals won’t necessarily know that they have to look in those areas [vagina, rectum] and that may delay treatment.” Alcohol poisoning can cause serious damage to the liver, brain, and heart, as well as quickly cause death.

Reports of using tampons to get a quick alcohol high have been circulating for years and in various countries. Earlier this year in Tuttlingen, Germany, for example, police reported activity regarding teenagers and vodka tampons and warned girls that the vodka could increase their chances of getting a vaginal infection.

Many teens are also under the impression that getting their alcohol via tampon means they will pass a breathalyzer test. However, because the device detects alcohol in the bloodstream and not the breath, using vodka tampons won’t help teens beat this rap.

A worse rap, however, is the one teens face if they use vodka tampons to get drunk. Vodka tampons are a dangerous practice that may cause teens to get vaginal or rectal irritation at the very least, and alcohol poisoning resulting in death at the worst.


Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons