Should Texas Ban Powdered Alcohol?
Maybe it’s the word powder in the title, a word that conjures up babies and pale blue, that makes powdered alcohol sound like a harmless idea. It is as it sounds – alcohol that is sold in the form of a powder. While some in Texas welcome it without a second thought, many are horrified at the potential for risks involved with easy and legal access to the substance.
What do you think? Should Texas ban powdered alcohol or prepare to make it available alongside bottles of beer, wine, and liquor?
Risks and Concerns
One of the big concerns is the idea that teens will use the easily hidden substance to sneak alcohol without their parents or teachers finding out. Because it has been compared to Kool-Aid, the concern is that it will easily mix into a soda, sports drink, or water bottle and be brought into high school games, dances, or even class without notice.
Another concern is that misguided consumers of any age will choose to snort the concentrated powder rather than dissolve it in the recommended amount of liquid. This would put the full dose of alcohol into the bloodstream far more rapidly than if it were ingested through the stomach, which can cause a more rapid and intense physical reaction, significantly increasing the potential for medical emergency, including alcohol poisoning.
Even if the powder is not snorted, it makes large amounts of alcohol exceptionally convenient. It has been shown in a wide range of studies that increased access to alcohol is often a contributing factor to binge drinking and alcohol abuse as well as all the issues related to the same.
Legality of Powered Alcohol in Texas
Currently, the drug is legal in Texas, but would-be consumers will have a hard time finding it on any store shelves due in part to the lack of legislation in place to manage the process of getting it from the producer to buyers. However, there are a number of bills in front of Texas officials that would put the necessary regulations into place; that is, powdered alcohol would be regulated like its liquid counterpart with no recognition of the potential dangers. If they pass, it won’t be long until powdered alcohol is readily available.
Thirty states have already banned powdered alcohol, including neighboring Louisiana, and many are wondering why there are no bills in front of the Texas Legislature suggesting that a ban is more appropriate than passing regulations to put the product on store shelves. Even the American Medical Association announced long ago that it was in support of state and federal governments banning the substance outright.
Impact on Addiction and Recovery
For those who are in recovery from substance use disorders, exposure to “triggers” for relapse – even a bottle of wine on the dinner table – is common. This is just one more substance available on grocery store shelves that someone in recovery will have to come face to face with on a regular basis. For many, it could result in relapse, especially if alcohol is the drug of choice.
The presence of this product can be stressful for families of people in recovery, and it will also be worrisome for families of those who are still living in active addiction. The very nature of the substance is to allow people to drink while flying under the radar, sneaking alcohol into games and other venues where it is strictly regulated. For those who are attempting to hide a drinking problem from their family, powdered alcohol will only make that far simpler. It may also trigger a fatal medical emergency before help can be sought, especially if the substance is combined with other drugs, including over-the-counter medication, prescription drugs, and illegal substances.
What Do You Think?
Do you think it is worth the risk to make powdered alcohol available to anyone who is interested in buying it? Do you think people have the right to choose for themselves, or would you rather err on the side of protecting people, especially young people, who might make a fatal mistake without fully understanding the risks involved?