'Drunkorexia': Smoking Alcohol Is Latest, Dangerous Party Trend

This article is more than 8 years old.
YouTube is humming with videos depicting college-age kids offering how-to tips on inhaling alcohol — the latest, dangerous party fad.  Why all the excitement? Party maestros say the practice allows you to avoid calories, while still getting a buzz.

These calorie-conscious partiers use innovative methods: pouring their drink of choice over dry-ice, heating it up and sucking in the vapors or the bizarre “bike-pump” method where booze is poured into a bottle and then vaporized using pressure.

Health experts are worried, according to a recent piece in The New York Daily News:

Inhaling alcohol is an insidious trend, particularly among college students who may be looking for more extreme ways to get high, said Dr. Harris Stratyner, regional clinical vice president of Caron Treatment Centers in New York. He has also seen it gain popularity among college-age men and women who may restrict calories before a night of partying - what's popularly known as "drunkorexia."

Whether it's "smoked" using dry ice or inhaled as a vapor, consuming alcohol in this way is "unbelievably dangerous," Stratyner said.

"When you inhale alcohol, it goes directly into the lungs and circumnavigates the liver,"

he told the Daily News. "The liver is what metabolizes alcohol, but when you inhale it, it goes directly from the lungs to the brain."

The lungs and mucous membranes are extremely sensitive to alcohol, Stratyner said, and inhaling alcoholic vapor may dry out the nasal passages and mouth, leaving users more vulnerable to infection.

Additionally, inhaling alcohol can lead to deadly alcohol poisoning more readily than sipping your drink.

"One of the things that prevents alcohol poisoning is that you usually vomit," Stratyner said. "When you circumvent the stomach and go straight to the lungs, you don't have that ability."

This program aired on June 4, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.