Palcohol is a brand name that's short for powdered alcohol, and it's expected to arrive in liquor stores sometime in 2015. Each pouch of powder dissolves in five ounces of water, adding the equivalent of a shot of vodka or rum. Four flavored versions are even being marketed as "instant cocktails", because you just add water to enjoy a mixed drink.
While this liquid alternative hasn't emerged on the American market yet, some medical professionals are already anticipating a demand for Palcohol rehabs. Because the product is so potent and the packaging is so light and compact, they fear that irresponsible use is inevitable. It's much more difficult to spot than bottles or cans, and much easier to transport. The result is alcohol that's more convenient and accessible than ever before.
State legislators in New York, Colorado, Ohio and Iowa have already called for statewide bans, citing the health and safety risks that powdered alcohol could pose. On a federal level, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the Palcohol product in April 2014, only to correct their "mistake" two weeks later. Its fate is still uncertain, but despite all the concerns about how to control it, Palcohol isn't the first legal product to make a substance more accessible.
Problematic and excessive Palcohol use are behaviors that our guests seek to change. However, before they commit to change, some substance users experiment with more efficient ways to achieve the desired effects from their substances. Intravenous drug users put themselves in danger by sending high doses into the bloodstream immediately, and others take prescription pills nasally instead of orally to speed up the effects. Drinkers already experiment too, without the influence of Palcohol.
Some heavy drinkers turn to unconventional methods of consuming their alcohol. They may conceal their use through various means or even "smoke" their alcohol through vaporizing alcohol. Although Palcohol's manufacturer warns that snorting the product won't work, lawmakers and health care providers are afraid that people will find other unconventional ways to ingest the concentrated powdered alcohol.
As controversy continues to swarm over products like Palcohol, Saint Jude Retreats will continue to focus on helping our guests determine how they want to decrease or abstain from excessive substance use. If you begin to rely on any substance, you're actively ignoring a variety of safer, healthier and better ways to solve your problems. Our guests explore these new options and get to know themselves much better along the way.
We work with people who want to change their behavior in a productive way, so we embrace and encourage any effort to make proactive, positive choices. No matter what substance(s) you used or how you consumed them, we're eager to see you commit to real change and take responsibility for your choices. Our goal is to help you enjoy the freedom of a life where you have control over your substance use, instead of letting it control you!