With teenagers coming up with new ways of getting intoxicated, the battle against Teen Alcohol Abuse is starting to look like an uphill climb.
Teenage girls are now experimenting with a new way to become intoxicated by soaking tampons in alcohol. It’s believed that this method would allow them to absorb the alcohol faster than if they were to drink it and to avoid having the smell of alcohol on their breath.
As absurd as this story may seem, it became reality for Milagros Rios, a 35-year-old waitress and single mother of two in New York City who walked into her bathroom about a year ago to find her 18-year-old daughter Nicole laying down on the floor and sleeping with a battle of vodka and a box of tampons in her hand.
“I didn’t want to ruin my minty breath,” says Nicole sarcastically. “I was worried about getting home smelling like beer and mom flipping on me, but I wanted to get a booze, so I did it.”
According to Nicole, she had learned this method of “drunk tampons” from a friend who says it’s a very common method in Barranquilla, Colombia. Oxford University scientific journals first reported this practice of alcohol consumption in the 1990s; by 1999, in the Oxford University Journal, the Medical Council on Alcoholism mentioned this method as “one of the unusual routes of alcohol ingestion that have been reported.”
Although some gynecologists doubt it has achieved the status of a trend–no hard research data exists to support the idea of one–many agree that it can be an efficient way to get drunk fast. “Yes, alcohol and other substances can be absorbed from the thin and vascular mucosa of vagina and rectum,” said Dr. Sorosh Roshan, a Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist who maintained a private practice for more than thirty years in Summit, New Jersey and who is currently President of the International Health Awareness Network.
“It’s also true that the effect is faster than drinking, because the substance immediately enters the circulation by fast absorption into the vascular mucosa, not through stomach and dilution with gastric fluids,” Roshan added.
The use of tampons soaked in alcohol to become intoxicated has been an open practice for at least three years and it has been spreading quickly throughout Europe and the United States. It has even been referenced in a popular American song released in 2003 called “Band Camp” by Georgia folk singer and song-writer Vic Chesnutt with the lyrics: “Once you soaked a tampon in some serious vodka, wore it to school, second period science lab, you feel right off your stool.”
Meanwhile, Nicole continues to struggle with alcohol and life in general. “I don’t know if I got used to them, messed up myself down there, or if my dependency has grown so big that I feel no pain anymore,” Nicole said. “It does make me feel disgusted with myself though, when I am sober.”
Nicole’s friend who introduced her to the method on the other hand, said people shouldn’t be so alarmed about it.
“It doesn’t really matter how it gets in,” she said. “Alcohol in your system is alcohol in your system. El fin justifica los medios, which means, the aim justifies the means.”