Are Teenagers really using vodka-soaked tampons?

I would have to say that it is difficult to consume alcohol through vodka-soaked tampons.

-Dia Yang,Healthy Ambassador Program 2011-2012

Recently, there has been much media attention on the “new method” teenagers are using to get drunk. Teenage girls are said to be soaking tampons in vodka before putting it up their vaginas. Similarly, teenage boys are said to be putting the vodka-soaked tampons up their rectum. The motivations behind such methods of getting drunk are said to be that 1) your breath wouldn’t smell like alcohol, 2) you can pass the Breathalyzer Test used by police officers, and 3) you can get drunk faster because it directly enters the vascular system without going through the stomach. It is important to realize that this method of alcohol consumption does not allow you to pass the Breathalyzer Test. The Breathalyzer Test measures what is in your bloodstream, not the smell of your breath.

There are several questions regarding this new method of ingesting alcohol. Is this method even plausible? How can you insert a tampon that has been soaked in vodka? Even if you can, what are the risks of consuming alcohol this way? A tampon typically has two parts: the cotton part, which is inserted into the vagina, and an applicator, which aids in the insertion of the cotton part. Applicators come in two types of materials: plastic and cardboard. You can either insert the alcohol-soaked tampon with or without the applicator. In the first scenario, soaking a tampon while the applicator is still on, you will encounter the problem of the tampon absorbing the alcohol. Not to mention that the cardboard applicator will be ruined in the process of soaking. The applicator restricts the shape and size of the tampon. Therefore when placed in alcohol, the tampon cannot expand, greatly reducing the amount of alcohol absorbed if any at all. In the second scenario, soaking the tampon without its applicator, you will encounter the problem of how to insert it. As mentioned previously, when tampons absorb any type of liquid, it expands in shape and size. It also becomes very flaccid. Seeing how it increases in size and lacks rigidity, it is quite difficult to insert if not impossible. Given these conditions, I would have to say that it is difficult to consume alcohol through vodka-soaked tampons. Despite this, there probably are people who have tried this. Thus, it is important to look at the consequences of using such methods.

Possible consequences range from irritations of the vagina and rectum to death from alcohol poisoning. The vagina and rectum have a mucosal layer that when in contact with alcohol leads to a burning sensation and irritation that can lead to the disruption of this layer. This can lead to complications later in life during labor for females. More importantly, alcohol consumption this way is very dangerous because your body has no way of regulating how much alcohol you’ve had. Since it enters straight into the bloodstream, there is no longer the vomiting sign to tell you: You have had too much to drink. This is very dangerous because you can have alcohol poisoning without knowing it.

And even if you have gotten to the hospital, there maybe a delay in your diagnosis of alcohol poisoning, which will put you even more at risk. The risks of trying this method of alcohol consumption is definitely too much to just get that buzz.

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