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Powdered alcohol: Don’t let it into the UK, says Noreen Oliver of Burton Addiction Centre

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 11, 2014

  • Noreen Oliver Chief Executive of Burton Addiction Centre.

Comments (2)

THE announcement of a new powdered form of alcohol has stormed various news sites and web forums in the past week, with one message popping up more than any other: This is a bad idea.

The powdered alcohol, dubbed as Palcohol, is designed to be mixed with water or other soft drinks to make cocktails.

However, the vast majority of internet forum comments have been filled with people saying that the best way to use this product is by snorting it or rubbing it on your gums to get a more ‘instant effect’.

The ‘innovative’ product is the brain child of an American man named Mark Phillips who (apparently) likes to go hiking and kayaking, and after a long day of outdoor activities, he enjoys an alcoholic beverage.

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Marks dreams were destined to be unfulfilled though as he didn’t want to carry around heavy bottles of booze.

So as a way of avoiding carrying any liquids - even though Palcohol needs to be mixed with something - Mark invents Palcohol, and the rest is fairly self explanatory.

The product is set to be released in America and Palcohol is hoping to get it into the UK within the year.

There are already groups preparing to campaign against its introduction to the UK due to concerns that it will be abused by today’s youth.

As Palcohol is in a bag and not a bottle, it will be much easier to conceal on or inside the body.

This means that people will be able to sneak it into places which would usually prohibit alcohol, for example, football stadiums.

People will also be able to elude bouncers on nightclub doors to give their drinks – or noses – an extra kick.

The more worrying thought is that people will be able to give other people’s drinks an extra kick with ease, playing straight into the hands of that friend who insists you have a double when you really don’t want to.

On top of that, if snorting powder to get drunk becomes the norm, the amount of people willing to try other more harmful substances such as cocaine will be sure to increase.

Noreen Oliver, founder of Burton Addiction Centre, said: “Straight away this stuff sounds like a bad idea.

“We already know that alcohol is one of the top five killers and it’s still rising.

“It could mean more children and teenagers will be having alcohol under age if they get it into their schools.

“I don’t think many people will use it how it is intended. People will use it to abuse it.

“At the addiction centre we will have to completely change our search procedures to make sure people aren’t bringing it in.

“I should imagine prisons will have the same problem.

“I hope they don’t let it into the UK but if they do, I don’t think it will be here for very long – I can’t imagine that many social drinkers, who actually enjoy the drink, will use this.”

There are, of course, some people who will welcome Palcohol’s arrival to the country.

Natalie Crank, 20, from Derby, admitted that she would try snorting Palcohol if it came to the UK.

She said: “It just seems to me like the next step in recreational drinking.

“It’s kind of like alcohol products are evolving. It looks exciting to me and it’s something I’d definitely give a try.

“People think too little of today’s young adults. Just because a few people get seen in the news having died after abusing alcohol, it doesn’t mean that everybody does it.

“I enjoy having a drink and yes, I would try Palcohol, but I also know when I’ve had enough.”

The introduction of Palcohol does raise many questions about its uses and what role it might fulfill.

Many online commenters claim that the Government has ‘no faith’ in people to use the product responsibly, and that if liquid alcohol was to be introduced as a new invention now, it would be equally frowned upon.

The problem is that because this product is so new, it’s hard to know the problems caused by irresponsible use.

Is somebody who snorts it and remains sober less responsible than somebody who drinks it and gets drunk? Probably not.

But considering how many problems could possibly stem from Palcohol, is it worth the risk?

However, Palcohol does have one market that it could expand into, which is more sensible.

Industrial uses for the product are being considered, with interest in Palcohol being used for medical, manufacturing and energy applications.

So it may come to the UK, just not as originally advertised.

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  • mozgren  |  September 04 2014, 8:39AM

    Ethanol bound with dextrins? Expensive...

  • mozgren  |  September 04 2014, 8:34AM

    Powdered ethanol? Impossible above about 115 C, Placebo for the gullible? Much more likely.