In the 1970's, chemists discovered and patented a process for turning liquid alcohol into powdered alcohol. Today, Palcohol is a brand-name product that was federally approved for two short weeks in 2014. It's now the subject of several statewide bans, as manufacturers move to introduce it to the US market in 2015. But what is Palcohol, and what could its use mean to those seeking help in Palcohol treatment centers?
Each one-ounce pouch of Palcohol contains 80 calories of powdered vodka, rum or cocktail ingredients. The patent's still pending, but scientists have tweaked the process for decades, and two similar products are already available in the Netherlands and Germany. In addition to making alcohol easier to transport for recreational purposes, these pouches may have industrial uses as a medical antiseptic or fuel source. No matter what it's used to substitute, Palcohol is easier to ship and carry. The appeal is obvious for companies that want to save on shipping costs or conserve storage space. However, some fear that this convenience is also the product's downfall.
Palcohol's discrete, compact and lightweight packaging could make it easier to bypass age limits, alcohol bans, and even the consent of unwilling drinkers. It's also easier to hide, which heavy drinkers often do already in an effort to conceal the full extent of their drinking habits from themselves and others. However, all of this is possible without powdered alcohol too. If someone makes the choice to commit a crime using Palcohol, use Palcohol to excess or both, that person is ultimately responsible for that behavior.
Consumers can legally buy alcohol now and perhaps soon Palcohol or a similar powdered alternative will join it in stores. At Saint Jude Retreats, we believe that your choice of substance matters much less than your decision to use it excessively. If you use alcohol or Palcohol and you're looking at changing your alcohol use habits then it's time to focus on the choices you make that lead to this behavior. Regardless of the convenience or novelty of a substance like Palcohol, its appeal can't cause destructive habits. Accept accountability so you can commit to making a positive change for yourself.
Different settings, ingestion methods, and products can influence the substances you choose to use, but you are the only one who can start making better choices. If you choose to change, you'll learn to exercise that freedom and build a better future for yourself. You can leave destructive substance use behavior behind you if you decide you want to do so. Call us today if you're ready to discuss changing your or a loved one's substance use habits.