Doctor warns 'smoking' alcohol is risky proposition

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by SHELLY SLATER / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Doctors are warning that a new and trendy way to get a buzz is really dangerous: Some people are choosing to "smoke" their alcohol instead of drinking it.

Why? Broderic Allen says it helps him avoid all those calories.

"Once you lose the weight, you want to keep it off," he said. "So I figured I could have my cake and eat it, too."

Allen stopped drinking to help him lose 80 pounds. Now he smokes his alcohol by mixing it with dry ice and inhaling the vapors.

"If you do it too much at once, it's kind of overwhelming," he admitted.

That's because the impact hits hard and fast.

Dr. Walter Gaman, who practices family medicine, says that is not safe. "It goes right through your lungs, hits your bloodstream, and goes right to your brain," he said.

That gives the alcohol no time to metabolize in the liver, or to be slowed down by food in your digestive tract.

Instead, it goes straight to the lungs.

"The dry ice is so cold, you're not going to be able to humidify it," Dr. Gaman said. "It can have a toxic affect on your lungs, not to mention alchohol is not very good in your lungs. Just imagine pouring alchohol in your lungs... it's just horrible."

Allen said he can still taste the drink by inhaling its vapors, and he likes the look.

"I feel like anything in excess is going to be bad for you," he said. "People are going to take it and turn into something it's not."

But Dr. Gaman says one time is too much, because the technique makes it way too easy to over-do... and overdose.

"You're going to get a heavier load of alchohol faster," the physician said. "It will impair you faster."

Inhaling alcohol is also more addictive, experts warn.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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