The disturbing trend, first noted by the Oxford Journals
in 1999, said the teens experience "rapid onset of effects, lower doses of alcohol are required for intoxication, and the reduced likelihood of recent alcohol consumption being being detected on the breath," all contributed to the popularity of this method of abusing alcohol.
KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona, reported
on the problem in local high schools and said the growing number of incidents related to students immersing tampons in vodka has school officials concerned for student safety.
"This is not isolated to any school, any city, any financial area," Officer Chris Thomas, a school resource officer, said. "This is everywhere. There's been documented cases of people going to the hospital with alcohol poisoning just from utilizing it that way."
Thomas said it was definitely not just girls using the tampons to get drunk; he said that rectal beer bongs is another bizarre trend created under the same concept and is becoming as popular as beer bongs
used at college drinking bashes. He said that is called "butt chugging
According to Thomas, the students are inventing new ways to consume alcohol that is less detectable by their parents and teachers. He suggests parents become more involved in their children's lives to combat these problems of alcohol use among teenagers.
Dr. Dan Quan, of the Maricopa Medical Center, told KPHO that students would obtain a "quicker high" and the effects were "more intense" then through oral consumption. "It's problematic because you don't really know how much you're going to absorb," Quan said.
Quan added that vodka-soaked tampons, which contain about a shot of alcohol, can cause "mucosal irritation to the vagina" or rectum. The physician said the trend could have life-threatening consequences. "If the person does pass out or lose consciousness, health care professionals won't necessarily know that they have to look in those areas and that may delay treatment."
KPHO reports that a myth persists among teenagers that if they use alcohol-soaked tampons they would "pass a breathalyser test because they didn't actually drink the booze." But this is untrue. A breathalyser
"checks what's in your blood-stream not the amount of booze on your breath," and wouldn't change the blood alcohol content determined by the test.