KHQ MD ALERT: Dangerous Threat For Teens: 'Smoking' Alcohol - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

KHQ MD ALERT: Dangerous Threat For Teens: 'Smoking' Alcohol

Posted: Updated:

NBCNEWS.COM - It's the dangerous new way teens are getting drunk -- and it's going viral. Now doctors say it could be deadly.

It's called "smoking alcohol." You don't drink the booze, you inhale it. Sounds bizarre, but those vapors give you an instant high.

Here's the problem: Doctors say it's incredibly dangerous and can be extremely addictive. Pure alcohol shooting into your brain. Doctors are issuing an urgent warning: Don't try this at home.

Chances are your teenager has seen it on YouTube, where hits are exploding into the millions: vaporizing alcohol. It looks like a game, but doctors say it can be deadly. One video shows teens putting a small amount of vodka into a plastic bottle, pumping it with air, and sucking in the potent fumes. They do it with beer, whiskey, Champagne, the list goes on. And within seconds, they say, they're drunk.

"These videos scare the hell out of me," says Steve Pasierb, who runs the partnership at drugfree.org. "It's binge drinking in an instant. It's like doing five or six shots into your bloodstream right away."

Here's the danger: When you drink alcohol normally, the liquor takes time to affect you, first going into your stomach, then slowly processed in your liver, and about 20 minutes later, into your bloodstream. But smoking alcohol is absorbed instantly into the lungs, racing to the brain. And, doctors say, it can poison you faster.

"The normal sensation when you drink and you are getting more drunk is to vomit: It's your body's way of expelling alcohol," explained Dr. Robert Glatter of Lenox Hill Hospital. " However, when you inhale alcohol, your brain has no way of expelling it."

And there's more. Experts say some of these videos lure teens in with false promises, like "this can help you lose weight." Or that you can hide your drunkenness from police and your parents.

"It's in your lungs, it's on your breath," Steve Pasierb told us.

"Then you can get a DUI from it?" we asked.

"Absolutely. You can get a DUI. It will be in your blood system."

As for the weight-loss claim, Pasierb said, "When you're consuming alcohol, you are consuming calories, period."

Another myth out there is that smoking alcohol isn't illegal, because you're not drinking. Not true. We checked with criminal defense lawyers who told us that no matter how you consume alcohol, it's illegal under 21.

This is so new that there are no hard numbers yet on how many kids have ended up in the hospital from smoking alcohol. But doctors say it may be hard to tell when someone is sick from regular drinking or this: They test your blood and it shows you have alcohol poisoning, but doesn't say whether you drank it or smoked it. But ER doctors tell us they're watching for it now.

  • National NewsMore>>

  • NEW DETAILS: Survivors Describe Escape From Sinking Ferry

    NEW DETAILS: Survivors Describe Escape From Sinking Ferry

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-16 19:52:10 GMT
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Survivors of a ferry sinking off the coast of South Korea are describing how they jumped into the frigid water wearing life jackets and then swam to a nearby rescue boat.More >>
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Survivors of a ferry sinking off the coast of South Korea are describing how they jumped into the frigid water wearing life jackets and then swam to a nearby rescue boat.More >>
  • UPDATE: Biden: Boston Marathon Survivors Are Inspiration

    UPDATE: Biden: Boston Marathon Survivors Are Inspiration

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:21 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:21:34 GMT
    BOSTON (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden says the courage shown by Boston Marathon survivors and those who lost loved ones is an inspiration for other Americans dealing with loss and tragedy.More >>
    BOSTON (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden says the courage shown by Boston Marathon survivors and those who lost loved ones is an inspiration for other Americans dealing with loss and tragedy.More >>
  • Cattle Battle: BLM To Pursue Effort To End Dispute With Rancher

    Cattle Battle: BLM To Pursue Effort To End Dispute With Rancher

    Monday, April 14 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-04-14 14:08:14 GMT
    NEVADA, (AP) - A day after blinking in a showdown on the range, federal land managers pledged to pursue efforts to resolve a conflict with a southern Nevada rancher who has refused to pay grazing fees for 20 years. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Craig Leff said Sunday that the agency would continue to try to resolve the matter.More >>
    NEVADA, (AP) - A day after blinking in a showdown on the range, federal land managers pledged to pursue efforts to resolve a conflict with a southern Nevada rancher who has refused to pay grazing fees for 20 years. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Craig Leff said Sunday that the agency would continue to try to resolve the matter.
    More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • 3rd N. Spokane Fast Food Robbery In Three Days

    3rd N. Spokane Fast Food Robbery In Three Days

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:15 AM EDT2014-04-18 05:15:21 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days. The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days. The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave.More >>
  • Gruesome Murder Trial Continues In Spokane; Alex Rozier Reports

    Gruesome Murder Trial Continues In Spokane; Alex Rozier Reports

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-04-18 00:35:52 GMT
    SPOKANE, WA. – The murder trial for suspected killer Daniel Arteaga continued at the Spokane County Courthouse on Thursday as one of the lead investigators took the stand discussing evidence found the night of Kim Schmidt’s death. Arteaga is on trial for the murder of Schmidt, a 34 year old mother he dated for more than 6 years.More >>
    SPOKANE, WA. – The murder trial for suspected killer Daniel Arteaga continued at the Spokane County Courthouse on Thursday as one of the lead investigators took the stand discussing evidence found the night of Kim Schmidt’s death. Arteaga is on trial for the murder of Schmidt, a 34 year old mother he dated for more than 6 years.More >>
  • The Isaac Foundation Helping Those Dealing With Autism

    The Isaac Foundation Helping Those Dealing With Autism

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:31 PM EDT2014-04-18 00:31:07 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - New numbers from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention show more children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
    More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - New numbers from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention show more children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. According to the CDC, autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in every 68 kids. There is no cure but therapy can help children with autism improve speech, motor skills and even their social interactions.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.