Experts: New type of alcohol could cause big problems for teens

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by Ray Preston / News 4 and Dan Greenwald / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 24 at 5:50 PM

(KMOV.com) – Many experts are concerned that teens may soon have access to a different type of alcohol that can't be found in a beer or liquor bottle.

A drug and alcohol expert told News 4 that powdered alcohol or palalcohol could be become a huge problem once it hits stores.

"The potential for problems is huge," said Mike Morrison with Bridgeway Behavioral Health. “It is the perfect set-up for an adolescent problem, carrying around a little packet of booze in powder form that doesn't smell, easy to hide. It's just setting up a disaster in our country I think."

The company that makes the product recently submitted palalcohol’s label for government approval. The Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau initially said it was going to approve the product’s label, but then reversed course, which means it can’t be sold. Despite the setback, the company behind powdered alcohol said it will submit a new label and it expects it to be approved.

The company has said the powder is meant to be sprinkled into drinks and onto food but one educator said she was concerned that it may be used another way.

“The first thing that went through my mind was 'Are these kids going to start snorting it?" said Kim Carter with the Fort Zummwalt School District.

The manufacturer recently said it has added volume to the powder to discourage people from snorting it.

On its website, palalocohol’s maker said that someone could get “drunk instantly” and that the product should be used responsibly.

"Certainly an underage child would not have the capacity to understand what that powder could do if misused," Carter said.

The company said it believes palalochol is as safe as regular alcohol.

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