Most everyone is familiar with instant coffee. Just add water and your coffee is ready to drink. You can find instant tea, hot chocolate, milk, and fruit-flavored drinks. But instant alcohol? Yes, by just adding water you can have an alcoholic beverage ready to drink instantly. The product is called Palcohol.
Palcohol: Not the first Powdered Alcohol
According to an article in the Smithsonian Magazine, the technology for powdered alcohol has been used since the 1970s when encapsulated alcohol was being sold by Japan’s Sato Foods Industries as an additive in food processing. Throughout the following decades, companies in the United States, the Netherlands, and Germany tried to bring to market an alcohol powder but none were successful until 2014 when Lipsmark LLC, founded by Mark Philips, the inventor of Palcohol, received approval for the packaging of his product by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
How is Powdered Alcohol Made?
Powdered alcohol, also called dry alcohol or crystalline alcohol, is made by using a complicated chemical process called microencapsulation. First, sugars are mixed with alcoholic beverages until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the sugars to create capsules of powdered alcohol. The powder is re-hydrated when it is mixed with water, resulting in an alcoholic drink.
How Do You Use Powdered Alcohol?
Packaged in one-ounce packets, the powdered alcohol is mixed with 6 ounces of water, soda, or juice. The result is an instant alcoholic drink. The alcohol content of one packet is equivalent to the alcohol in one shot.
Is Palcohol Legal?
Although Palcohol is available in some areas of the United States, there are many different laws governing its sale. States first began regulating the sale of powdered alcohol in the 1970s. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCLS), powdered alcohol was banned in 35 states or jurisdictions as of 20017. Legislation has also been introduced by several other states to regulate powdered alcohol products the same way as all other alcohol products.
What Are the Dangers of Powdered Alcohol?
There are many potential risks, concerns, and dangers associated with powdered alcohol.
- One of the main health concerns regarding powdered alcohol users is snorting the substance. Snorting would cause the user to have an intense burning feeling in their nasal cavity. Others may experiment with injecting or ingesting the powder in various ways which are more dangerous than drinking.
- When an intoxicating substance is made in a way that it is easy to carry and conceal it becomes much easier to smuggle into public and private events, parties, and other venues, increasing the possibility of drink-spiking and public drunkenness.
- Since it is easy to hide, young people could bring it into school or other places, increasing the potential for underage drinking.
- There is some concern that powdered alcohol could be added to someone’s food or drink without them knowing it. It could also be added to an alcoholic beverage increasing the drink’s alcohol level without the person’s knowledge.
- It is hard to track the amount of alcohol ingested, especially if the person is also drinking traditional alcoholic drinks, which could lead to an overconsumption of alcohol.
- If a person does not fully understand powdered alcohol and ingests an excessive amount by mixing it with their food, the result could be alcohol poisoning.
- If a person mixes powdered alcohol with other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or marijuana, they are at risk of alcohol poisoning or overdose.
- When things come in packets, people are generally less careful about storing them safely which leads to the possibility of young children or toddlers finding the packet, opening it, and ingesting the contents.
- The novelty and fun flavors of powdered alcohol make it appealing to those under the legal drinking age.
- Since powdered substances are more potent and highly concentrated than their liquid counterparts, there is a greater risk of overuse and overdose.
Help is Available
If you or someone you know has an addiction to alcohol or drugs, getting the correct help is essential for living a sober, healthy life. English Mountain Recovery, located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, provides life-changing care to people with substance use disorders.