The Truth Behind Vaporizing And Inhaling Alcohol

340-1111Vaporizing, and then inhaling alcohol has gained a lot of attention lately.  In the 1950’s it was introduced as a treatment for excessive fluid in your lungs, called pulmonary edema.  It’s now gained popularity as a way to quickly become intoxicated.  Proponents of this process-to-become-plastered, tout several benefits compared to drinking it.  Many claim you get drunk without any calorie intake.   Some state, because you bypass the liver, you can eliminate the alcohol quickly and avoid the dreaded alcohol hangover.

Just about every medical professional, commenting on this method of intoxication, have warned of the very real consequences.  All while knowing doctors can use the process to treat some life threatening medical conditions.   Before you go to your next college-frat-party and smoke your way to a buzzed-bliss, let’s take an in-depth look at the benefits and risks of inhaling alcohol.

Inhaling any substance, as long as the molecule is small enough, is one of the fastest ways to get it in your bloodstream.  This is because the barrier between your blood and the outside environment is so easily penetrated.  When you inhale air, and all of its impurities (in this case alcohol), the vapor easily crosses the capillary beds that reside in the small air sacs within your lungs, called alveoli.

alveolus-with-corpusclesOnce inhaled, the oxygen and alcohol are in higher concentrations than in your blood.  They naturally migrate across the alveoli membrane, equalizing the concentration of those molecules on both sides of it.  This process is called diffusion.  The level of carbon dioxide within the blood is higher than the outside air, and as such, it will also diffuse across the membrane to the environment.  The wonder of a breath is revealed!  This entire process happens almost instantaneously.

Any respecting medical student knows there are a few other ways you can get alcohol in your blood stream.  Compared to inhalation, they all require much more time.  Drinking requires it be broken down by your digestive system.  Absorbing alcohol through mucus membranes, like placing alcohol drops in the eyes, or alcohol enemas, require more time because the absorption rate is much slower than the diffusion within the lungs.

Let’s look at some of the advertised benefits of inhaled alcohol.

Calorie reduction by inhalation, is not all it’s cracked up to be.  There are only 4 types of nutrients that have a measurable amount of calories.  Alcohol is one of them.  The other three are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  It doesn’t matter if you drink the alcohol, or inhale it, the calories consumed will be proportional to the amount of alcohol taken in.  The only caloric savings comes from the reduction of the carbohydrates within the liquids, namely the sugars.

shutterstock_12056428The higher the alcohol content in the liquid you vaporize, the less this benefit is realized. Vaporizing beer (usually around 5% alcohol by volume), will give you a greater savings compared to vodka (usually around 40% alcohol by volume).

Normally alcohol is removed from the body in three ways.  About 5% is excreted by the kidneys in your urine.  Around 5% is exhaled by your lungs, in the process of diffusion.  This is why breathalyzers are such a great way of determining blood alcohol levels (don’t drink and drive kids). The remaining is chemically broken down by your liver into acetic acid.  There has never been a human study that focused on comparing alcohol elimination times of the different intake methods. There was however, animal studies done in the 1970’s, showing ethanol elimination from inhalation was significantly faster compared to ingestion.  The exact mechanism of this elimination, compared to ingestion, was not mentioned.

Don’t think this increased alcohol elimination in animal studies is a good thing.  By bypassing the liver, and its ability to change alcohol to acetic acid, the inhaled alcohol has a much higher strength, its effects becoming more potent.  This might seem enticing to college fraternities, but it’s tremendously overshadowed by the potential harmful consequences.  Overdose (alcohol poisoning) is potentially the most deadly.

Alcohol is a potent central nervous system depressant.   If the level within the blood is high enough, it causes things like; respiratory depression, seizures, and hypothermia.  It can also cause the loss of your gag-reflex.  When combined with vomiting, it can lead to aspiration.  Drowning in your own vomit on a strangers bathroom floor,  isn’t the noblest way to end your life.

SmokingAlcoholBypassing the digestive system eliminates the body’s natural overdose deterrent, vomiting. The methods currently used by people to vaporize alcohol, make it extremely difficult to measure the exact amount inhaled.  Even in sober conditions. The inevitable change in mental state also contributes to this difficulty.  The term coyote-ugly comes to mind.

This rapid intoxication, combined with the problems of measuring the amount consumed, leads to a much greater risk of overdose.  It is true, there have been no actual scientific studies looking at the adverse effects of smoking alcohol, but based on the mechanism of ingestion, most medical professionals agree the potential for deadly consequences is considerable.

Additional concerns about inhaling alcohol revolve around addiction.  Most people who try this form of intoxication describe rapid, and much more intense, reaction.  The “quick-hit” reinforces addictive effects.  I’m sure no respecting person ever intentionally wanted to increase their risk of becoming addicted to anything.  Inhaling alcohol also has the potential to damage the lining of your respiratory tract and lungs, predisposing you to a higher risk of lung infections like pneumonia.

While the party-fueled vaporization and inhalation of alcohol is extremely dangerous, there are some real medical benefits when done appropriately.  In 1954, Dr.’s Aldo Luisada, Morton Goldmann and Ruth Weyl, used this as a method for treating pulmonary edema, resistant to all other forms of therapy.

The fluid in the lungs, associated with pulmonary edema, contain blood elements that get churned into a froth by the act of breathing.  This leaves foam-like bubbles that make it extremely difficult to diffuse oxygen through the capillary beds.  By bubbling oxygen through a 50% ethyl alcohol solution, the frothy bubbles collapse making it easier to breath.  It’s thought the alcohol alters the surface tension of the bubbles, causing the collapse.  The resulting sputum is also more liquid and is much easier to expel from the lungs.

Another well accepted treatment using alcohol inhalation, is in the prevention of alcohol withdrawals post-surgery.  As with any physically addictive substance, when you stop using, withdrawals occur.  Known as Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS), the symptoms can be deadly.  In 1908, when hospitalization was uncommon, the mortality rate of AWS was around 37%.  Currently, the mortality rate for patients in a hospital is around 6.6%.  Since even those addicted to alcohol sometimes need surgery, doctors are left with the problem of preventing AWS while they’re recovering.

Medications, known as benzodiazepines, are commonly used.  The intravenous infusion of ethanol is also sometimes administered.  The inhalation of alcohol is becoming widely accepted.  Some doctors even prefer it, claiming it’s easier to control than ethanol infusion.  They also cite the added benefit of increased oxygen levels post-surgery, because oxygen is bubbled through the alcohol.

shutterstock_116166565Whether used for the treatment of pulmonary edema, or AWS, doctors constantly monitor the amount of alcohol inhaled.  They also continually monitor the blood alcohol levels, keeping them in a range that is high enough to get the results they want, while low enough not to cause any unwanted problems.  This ability to monitor the exact amounts of alcohol are what make it safe in a hospital environment compared to the do-it-yourself, at-home methods.

In the end, if you choose to vaporize and inhale alcohol, it will get you drunk very quickly.  You will however, increase your chance of a deadly overdose and potential addiction significantly.  Your mom said it best when remarking, “What would Jesus do”?  The answer; he would drink his wine like the rest of us.

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  • Very insightful though seemingly biased overview of the newly widespread “vaportini” craze. As I reviewed this article partly out of concern (as I was inhaling a popular cinnamon flavored whiskey while reading), and also simple curiousity as to the actual/factual knowledge of the matter, I realized the subject in question although an antiquity in medicine, still has no definitive results in study or trial. So as I take it up on myself to answer my own question of good health and consequence, I quickly realize that of one defined truth. This method does produce a rapid and intense effect. After nearly 10 “vapor hits” of my cinnamon whiskey concauction I must admit defeat to the effects of alcohol. I feel no where near overdose or alcohol poisoning; as I have been afloat that boat before, but most certainly a buzz one normally gets from a $50.00 tab in hand with too many hours spent in a overly pretentious/crowded setting of the bar. I didn’t go all hipster and hit up my local hippie shack for the tools needed. I simply used a watering globe (a glass device used to ration the water supplied to house plants), and an old scent maker. The scent maker being of course the kind with a tea light holder on the base, and an opening above for a hot plate of scented waxes or oils. The idea came about after sawing off the stem of the watering globe for an (unfortunately) tweeker friend of mine who needed it for something described as a “hot rail.” (My next inhebriated topic of study lol.) I was then left with a water globe with no real use. Since the beginning of this comment up until now I have likely vapo’d this alcohol nearly 20 times. I am knowingly reaching the end of my experiment due to my sudden lack of interest in sharing my opinion and my desire to smoke a cigarette. Impressed? Not quite. Disappointed? Hardly considering the buzz-to-used alcohol ratio. Roughly a smidge over a standard shot and I’m feeling as if I had taken a half of a fifth to the dome. But do I see myself becoming hooked on the trend of ingesting vapors rather than digesting its liquid form? Thankfully for my health and lack of wisdom in the matter that’s a negative. As a ritualistic and avid social drinker that some would interpret as nothing short of an alcoholic enveloped in denial of his alcoholism, I find much more joy in the chase of the buzz: more importantly the atmosphere of which. If we all could show up to the club or bar take a few rips off a vapor device and go home 30 minutes later annihilated, it would rob the majority of drinkers of the main goal at hand. That main goal usually including loosening up, socializing and accepting more people socially,

    Very insightful though seemingly biased overview of the newly widespread “vaportini” craze. As I reviewed this article partly out of concern (as I was inhaling a popular cinnamon flavored whiskey while reading), and also simple curiousity as to the actual/factual knowledge of the matter, I realized the subject in question although an antiquity in medicine, still has no definitive results in study or trial. So as I take it up on myself to answer my own question of good health and consequence, I quickly realize that of one defined truth. This method does produce a rapid and intense effect. After nearly 10 “vapor hits” of my cinnamon whiskey concauction I must admit defeat to the effects of alcohol. I feel no where near overdose or alcohol poisoning; as I have been afloat that boat before, but most certainly a buzz one normally gets from a $50.00 tab in hand with too many hours spent in a overly pretentious/crowded setting of the bar. I didn’t go all hipster and hit up my local hippie shack for the tools needed. I simply used a watering globe (a glass device used to ration the water supplied to house plants), and an old scent maker. The scent maker being of course the kind with a tea light holder on the base, and an opening above for a hot plate of scented waxes or oils. The idea came about after sawing off the stem of the watering globe for an (unfortunately) tweeker friend of mine who needed it for something described as a “hot rail.” (My next inhebriated topic of study lol.) I was then left with a water globe with no real use. Since the beginning of this comment up until now I have likely vapo’d this alcohol nearly 20 times. I am knowingly reaching the end of my experiment due to my sudden lack of interest in sharing my opinion and my desire to smoke a cigarette. Impressed? Not quite. Disappointed? Hardly considering the buzz-to-used alcohol ratio. Roughly a smidge over a standard shot and I’m feeling as if I had taken a half of a fifth to the dome. But do I see myself becoming hooked on the trend of ingesting vapors rather than digesting its liquid form? Thankfully for my health and lack of wisdom in the matter that’s a negative. As a ritualistic and avid social drinker that some would interpret as nothing short of an alcoholic enveloped in denial of his alcoholism, I find much more joy in the chase of the buzz: more importantly the atmosphere of which. If we all could show up to the club or bar take a few rips off a vapor device and go home 30 minutes later annihilated, it would rob the majority of drinkers of the main goal at hand. That main goal usually including loosening up, socializing and accepting more people socially. Above all, we would lose the enjoyment of our personal transformations such as being witness to our progressive decline of ambiton and perfection; only to be replaced with new found acceptance in self-matters and those of which around oneself. There’s something enticing about the journey from a normal and introversal

    Very insightful though seemingly biased overview of the newly widespread “vaportini” craze. As I reviewed this article partly out of concern (as I was inhaling a popular cinnamon flavored whiskey while reading), and also simple curiousity as to the actual/factual knowledge of the matter, I realized the subject in question although an antiquity in medicine, still has no definitive results in study or trial. So as I take it up on myself to answer my own question of good health and consequence, I quickly realize that of one defined truth. This method does produce a rapid and intense effect. After nearly 10 “vapor hits” of my cinnamon whiskey concauction I must admit defeat to the effects of alcohol. I feel no where near overdose or alcohol poisoning; as I have been afloat that boat before, but most certainly a buzz one normally gets from a $50.00 tab in hand with too many hours spent in a overly pretentious/crowded setting of the bar. I didn’t go all hipster and hit up my local hippie shack for the tools needed. I simply used a watering globe (a glass device used to ration the water supplied to house plants), and an old scent maker. The scent maker being of course the kind with a tea light holder on the base, and an opening above for a hot plate of scented waxes or oils. The idea came about after sawing off the stem of the watering globe for an (unfortunately) tweeker friend of mine who needed it for something described as a “hot rail.” (My next inhebriated topic of study lol.) I was then left with a water globe with no real use. Since the beginning of this comment up until now I have likely vapo’d this alcohol nearly 20 times. I am knowingly reaching the end of my experiment due to my sudden lack of interest in sharing my opinion and my desire to smoke a cigarette. Impressed? Not quite. Disappointed? Hardly considering the buzz-to-used alcohol ratio. Roughly a smidge over a standard shot and I’m feeling as if I had taken a half of a fifth to the dome. But do I see myself becoming hooked on the trend of ingesting vapors rather than digesting its liquid form? Thankfully for my health and lack of wisdom in the matter that’s a negative. As a ritualistic and avid social drinker that some would interpret as nothing short of an alcoholic enveloped in denial of his alcoholism, I find much more joy in the chase of the buzz: more importantly the atmosphere of which. If we all could show up to the club or bar take a few rips off a vapor device and go home 30 minutes later annihilated, it would rob the majority of drinkers of the main goal at hand. That main goal usually including loosening up, socializing and accepting more people socially. Above all, we would lose the enjoyment of our personal transformations such as being witness to our progressive decline of ambiton and perfection; only to be replaced with new found acceptance in self-matters and those of which around oneself. There’s something enticing about the journey from a normal self-concious and intraversal outlook of sobriety, to the unknown influence of lifes current emotions and current situations

    Very insightful though seemingly biased overview of the newly widespread “vaportini” craze. As I reviewed this article partly out of concern (as I was inhaling a popular cinnamon flavored whiskey while reading), and also simple curiousity as to the actual/factual knowledge of the matter, I realized the subject in question although an antiquity in medicine, still has no definitive results in study or trial. So as I take it up on myself to answer my own question of good health and consequence, I quickly realize that of one defined truth. This method does produce a rapid and intense effect. After nearly 10 “vapor hits” of my cinnamon whiskey concauction I must admit defeat to the effects of alcohol. I feel no where near overdose or alcohol poisoning; as I have been afloat that boat before, but most certainly a buzz one normally gets from a $50.00 tab in hand with too many hours spent in a overly pretentious/crowded setting of the bar. I didn’t go all hipster and hit up my local hippie shack for the tools needed. I simply used a watering globe (a glass device used to ration the water supplied to house plants), and an old scent maker. The scent maker being of course the kind with a tea light holder on the base, and an opening above for a hot plate of scented waxes or oils. The idea came about after sawing off the stem of the watering globe for an (unfortunately) tweeker friend of mine who needed it for something described as a “hot rail.” (My next inhebriated topic of study lol.) I was then left with a water globe with no real use. Since the beginning of this comment up until now I have likely vapo’d this alcohol nearly 20 times. I am knowingly reaching the end of my experiment due to my sudden lack of interest in sharing my opinion and my desire to smoke a cigarette. Impressed? Not quite. Disappointed? Hardly considering the buzz-to-used alcohol ratio. Roughly a smidge over a standard shot and I’m feeling as if I had taken a half of a fifth to the dome. But do I see myself becoming hooked on the trend of ingesting vapors rather than digesting its liquid form? Thankfully for my health and lack of wisdom in the matter that’s a negative. As a ritualistic and avid social drinker that some would interpret as nothing short of an alcoholic enveloped in denial of his alcoholism, I find much more joy in the chase of the buzz: more importantly the atmosphere of which. If we all could show up to the club or bar take a few rips off a vapor device and go home 30 minutes later annihilated, it would rob the majority of drinkers of the main goal at hand. That main goal usually including loosening up, socializing and accepting more people socially. Above all, we would lose the enjoyment of our personal transformations such as being witness to our progressive decline of ambiton and perfection; only to be replaced with new found acceptance in self-matters and those of which around oneself. There’s something enticing about the journey from the normal self-concious and intraversal outlook of sobriety, to the unknown influence of lifes current emotions and current eventsand the outlook alcohol and its effects provide. The only mystical difference being the progressive influence of alcohol providing an extroversial experience comparitive to the sudden head change of vapor shots. Such a rapid descent of inebriation likely leads to a lack of gradual social development with like parties omitting the extroversial attitude likely shared in a progressively influenced atmosphere. In closing… if your goal is to get turd-faceded and forget about the present, vaporization may be your way to go. Keep in mind that your mental state has much to do with one’s desire of intoxication. If your looking for an escape from life’s troubles rather than a path to an honest good time: I suggest the old fashion method whole heartedly. In your attempts to escape reality ingesting it the “normal” method, you leave your body the option of rejecting alcohol if provided an excessive amount. Certainly there is truth to the troubles of reversing an overdose or excessive intake by way of vapor hits. If you’ve had a long day at “the office” and need a speedy remedy of unwinding, a few vapor hits may just do the trick to send your wound and exausted body to la-la land and and ultimately ni-night tit

    Very insightful though seemingly biased overview of the newly widespread “vaportini” craze. As I reviewed this article partly out of concern (as I was inhaling a popular cinnamon flavored whiskey while reading), and also simple curiousity as to the actual/factual knowledge of the matter, I realized the subject in question although an antiquity in medicine, still has no definitive results in study or trial. So as I take it up on myself to answer my own question of good health and consequence, I quickly realize that of one defined truth. This method does produce a rapid and intense effect. After nearly 10 “vapor hits” of my cinnamon whiskey concauction I must admit defeat to the effects of alcohol. I feel no where near overdose or alcohol poisoning; as I have been afloat that boat before, but most certainly a buzz one normally gets from a $50.00 tab in hand with too many hours spent in a overly pretentious/crowded setting of the bar. I didn’t go all hipster and hit up my local hippie shack for the tools needed. I simply used a watering globe (a glass device used to ration the water supplied to house plants), and an old scent maker. The scent maker being of course the kind with a tea light holder on the base, and an opening above for a hot plate of scented waxes or oils. The idea came about after sawing off the stem of the watering globe for an (unfortunately) tweeker friend of mine who needed it for something described as a “hot rail.” (My next inhebriated topic of study lol.) I was then left with a water globe with no real use. Since the beginning of this comment up until now I have likely vapo’d this alcohol nearly 20 times. I am knowingly reaching the end of my experiment due to my sudden lack of interest in sharing my opinion and my desire to smoke a cigarette. Impressed? Not quite. Disappointed? Hardly considering the buzz-to-used alcohol ratio. Roughly a smidge over a standard shot and I’m feeling as if I had taken a half of a fifth to the dome. But do I see myself becoming hooked on the trend of ingesting vapors rather than digesting its liquid form? Thankfully for my health and lack of wisdom in the matter that’s a negative. As a ritualistic and avid social drinker that some would interpret as nothing short of an alcoholic enveloped in denial of his alcoholism, I find much more joy in the chase of the buzz: more importantly the atmosphere of which. If we all could show up to the club or bar take a few rips off a vapor device and go home 30 minutes later annihilated, it would rob the majority of drinkers of the main goal at hand. That main goal usually including loosening up, socializing and accepting more people socially. Above all, we would lose the enjoyment of our personal transformations such as being witness to our progressive decline of ambiton and perfection; only to be replaced with new found acceptance in self-matters and those of which around oneself. There’s something enticing about the journey from the normal self-concious and intraversal outlook of sobriety, to the unknown influence of lifes current emotions and current eventsand the outlook alcohol and its effects provide. The only mystical difference being the progressive influence of alcohol providing an extroversial experience comparitive to the sudden head change of vapor shots. Such a rapid descent of inebriation likely leads to a lack of gradual social development with like parties omitting the extroversial attitude likely shared in a progressively influenced atmosphere. In closing… if your goal is to get turd-faceded and forget about the present, vaporization may be your way to go. Keep in mind that your mental state has much to do with one’s desire of intoxication. If your looking for an escape from life’s troubles rather than a path to an honest good time: I suggest the old fashion method whole heartedly. In your attempts to escape reality ingesting it the “normal” method, you leave your body the option of rejecting alcohol if provided an excessive amount. Certainly there is truth to the troubles of reversing an overdose or excessive intake by way of vapor hits. If you’ve had a long day at “the office” and need a speedy remedy of unwiending, a few vapor hitds may just do the trick to send your wound and exausted body to la-la land and and ultimately ni-night tit

    Very insightful though seemingly biased overview of the newly widespread “vaportini” craze. As I reviewed this article partly out of concern (as I was inhaling a popular cinnamon flavored whiskey while reading), and also simple curiousity as to the actual/factual knowledge of the matter, I realized the subject in question although an antiquity in medicine, still has no definitive results in study or trial. So as I take it up on myself to answer my own question of good health and consequence, I quickly realize that of one defined truth. This method does produce a rapid and intense effect. After nearly 10 “vapor hits” of my cinnamon whiskey concauction I must admit defeat to the effects of alcohol. I feel no where near overdose or alcohol poisoning; as I have been afloat that boat before, but most certainly a buzz one normally gets from a $50.00 tab in hand with too many hours spent in a overly pretentious/crowded setting of the bar. I didn’t go all hipster and hit up my local hippie shack for the tools needed. I simply used a watering globe (a glass device used to ration the water supplied to house plants), and an old scent maker. The scent maker being of course the kind with a tea light holder on the base, and an opening above for a hot plate of scented waxes or oils. The idea came about after sawing off the stem of the watering globe for an (unfortunately) tweeker friend of mine who needed it for something described as a “hot rail.” (My next inhebriated topic of study lol.) I was then left with a water globe with no real use. Since the beginning of this comment up until now I have likely vapo’d this alcohol nearly 20 times. I am knowingly reaching the end of my experiment due to my sudden lack of interest in sharing my opinion and my desire to smoke a cigarette. Impressed? Not quite. Disappointed? Hardly considering the buzz-to-used alcohol ratio. Roughly a smidge over a standard shot and I’m feeling as if I had taken a half of a fifth to the dome. But do I see myself becoming hooked on the trend of ingesting vapors rather than digesting its liquid form? Thankfully for my health and lack of wisdom in the matter that’s a negative. As a ritualistic and avid social drinker that some would interpret as nothing short of an alcoholic enveloped in denial of his alcoholism, I find much more joy in the chase of the buzz: more importantly the atmosphere of which. If we all could show up to the club or bar take a few rips off a vapor device and go home 30 minutes later annihilated, it would rob the majority of drinkers of the main goal at hand. That main goal usually including loosening up, socializing and accepting more people socially. Above all, we would lose the enjoyment of our personal transformations such as being witness to our progressive decline of ambiton and perfection; only to be replaced with new found acceptance in self-matters and those of which around oneself. There’s something enticing about the journey from the normal self-concious and intraversal outlook of sobriety, to the unknown influence of lifes current emotions and current eventsand the outlook alcohol and its effects provide. The only mystical difference being the progressive influence of alcohol providing an extroversial experience comparitive to the sudden head change of vapor shots. Such a rapid descent of inebriation likely leads to a lack of gradual social development with like parties omitting the extroversial attitude likely shared in a progressively influenced atmosphere. In closing… if your goal is to get turd-faceded and forget about the present, vaporization may be your way to go. Keep in mind that your mental state has much to do with one’s desire of intoxication. If your looking for an escape from life’s troubles rather than a path to an honest good time: I suggest the old fashion method whole heartedly. In your attempts to escape reality ingesting it the “normal” method, you leave your body the option of rejecting alcohol if provided an excessive amount. Certainly there is truth to the troubles of reversing an overdose or excessive intake by way of vapor hits. If you’ve had a long day at “the office” and need a speedy remedy of unwinding, a few vapor hits may just do the trick to send your wound up and exausted body to la-la land and and ultimately ni-night time. Again, personally I appreciatiate the adventure undertaken when starting from sober and aware, to guiding yourself on a progressive journey of personal and social acceptance via alcohol and its affects in its initial and true thirst quenching form. Ahh what am I saying!? Smoke drink and shoot up that medicine of the Gods. Just be sure to have a good excuse for when you black out and come to in the presence of your maker. (Or that girl/guy you completely regret laying eyes on.)
    Blaine C.
    Montana, USA

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