In April 2014, Palcohol sparked a flurry of controversy and speculation after it was approved for retail distribution in the United States. The brand-name product is essentially packaged, powdered alcohol, and its approval was rescinded in just two weeks after outcries from legislators, consumers, and medical professionals. Palcohol's American manufacturer expects a 2015 release, but some states have already moved to ban it. Learn about the following Palcohol use risks and decide for yourself whether it's a cause for concern.
Six varieties of Palcohol will be available when it hits liquor store shelves. These include two powdered liquors — "V" is powdered vodka, and "R" is powdered rum — and four powdered flavors that turn into "instant cocktails" when mixed with five ounces of water. Many opponents feel these flavors are a red flag for potential misuse.
For example, medical toxicologist Dr. Kennon Heard believes the flavored packets could be attractive to kids who wouldn't otherwise experiment with alcohol. In fact, the lemon drop flavor resembles powdered lemonade mixes that are already marketed toward kids and families. The fear is minors will seek to gain access to the product to want to try alcohol in a familiar sweetened form or they may mistake it for something else non-alcoholic.
The idea that flavored products may attract kids, either intentionally or accidentally, was also used to ban clove cigarettes several years ago. Now that some states have legalized recreational marijuana, this concern is now being used to question the availability of edible marijuana products. It's important to understand that, regardless of the way a substance tastes or smells, adults are always responsible for choosing whether or not to use it themselves, and for making sure children can't gain access to it if it may be harmful to them.
Palcohol is essentially a highly condensed version of liquor, but because the product is brand new, not many people are familiar with its potency or portion sizes. One packet contains one shot's worth of alcohol, but critics worry that people will assume a smaller size means less alcohol per volume, and consume too much of it at one time. This isn't a risk that's limited to Palcohol but the novelty of the packaging raises concerns with some opponents.
One packet of Palcohol is 4" x 6", the same size as a standard photograph, and weighs approximately one ounce. It contains the same concentration of alcohol as a miniature 50 mL bottle, but it's flatter, lighter, and has a much more discreet shape. This has led to concerns that people will be able to sneak Palcohol into places they shouldn't have alcohol, or slip it into others' drinks without being noticed. However, as it becomes increasingly recognizable as an alcohol product, it may become harder to hide.
You're welcome to limit or eliminate your alcohol use, including Palcohol, at Saint Jude Retreats. Our guests learn that no substance has more power than they do, no matter how appealing it is. If you would like to learn more, call our friendly and compassionate Guest Services Consultants at 888.424.2626 to discuss how to move past your own or a loved one's alcohol use habit permanently in an empowering, transformative retreat experience. Your call is always completely confidential.