Is Inhaling Alcohol the New Pregnant Woman Pee Cure for Fatness? (God, I Hope Not)
Trigger warning: Discussion of idiotic weight loss technique.
I came across this article on CNN today. Here, let me give you a block quote. The emphasis is mine.
Nearly a decade later, clinicians are seeing evidence that the practice is gaining some traction — and not just among college kids and adolescent risk takers. It’s popular among people who want to lose weight and don’t want the calories that come from consuming alcohol. “People think it is a great way to get the effects of alcohol without gaining the weight because alcohol has an enormous amount of empty calories. You can’t be ingesting a lot of alcohol if you’re on a diet and want to lose weight,” says Dr. Deni Carise, the deputy chief clinical officer at CRC Health Group, a treatment- and educational-program provider for individuals struggling with behavioral issues, chemical dependency and eating disorders. “I think adolescents are also particularly susceptible to this because it is novel and exciting.”
So what’s so popular with people who want their buzz and their diet, too? Inhaling alcohol. Apparently this involves a fancy contraption or, if you’re more resourceful, either pouring it over dry ice and inhaling the fumes or using some Willy Wonka-like contraption involving a bicycle pump and a cork. You get the unmetabolized, pure effects of the alcohol with zero calories because it never hits your stomach.
Of course, you might also die.
Because we humans, we’re good at measuring with things like a glass or a bottle, but fumes? How do you know how many fumes you’ve inhaled from that bicycle pump? And without the liquid part of the alcohol, your body’s natural defenses against poisoning yourself with too many martinis are bypassed — you can’t puke if you haven’t put anything in your digestive system.
“It’s also terrible for your lungs and nasal passages,” says Carise. “Your lungs are not meant to inhale something that can turn back into a liquid. When you think of liquid in the lungs, you think of drowning.”
Did you get that? The fumes could turn back into liquid alcohol. In your lungs.
I would assume that some risk-addicted kids are trying this just to be cool (if the cool kids were all drowning themselves in vodka fumes, would you do it, too?) or for the added high of getting drunk fast and flirting with death, I guess. But it’s particularly disturbing to me that this has started to catch on as yet another crazy, dangerous way for people to try to avoid The Fat.
The anti-fatty concern trolls are so worried about the health risks of being fat, but maybe they should think for a minute about the health risks of the insane things that people will do to avoid being fat. Or rather, to TRY to avoid being fat. People inject themselves with the urine of pregnant women, have things sewn onto their tongues, remove big chunks of vital internal organs, put themselves on a liquid diet that involves tubes up the nose 24/7 — there are people who will literally do anything to not be fat.
That article quotes a man who lost 80 pounds by giving up liquid alcohol in favor of fumigating himself. Maybe his risk of diabetes or heart disease is somewhat diminished (and maybe not), but he’s taking the risk of either drowning in reconstituted beer or killing himself with an alcohol overdose every time he wants a drink. What kind of a trade off is that?
If we catch up with that man in five years, will he still be 80 pounds lighter? Will he still be alive?
Do not inhale liquor fumes. I shouldn’t even have to tell you that.