Palcohol: Convenient or Dangerous?

Quickly approved and then restricted, powdered alcohol, or “Palcohol” has given rise to many arguments of its convenience versus its potential for abuse. Do the benefits outweigh the dangerous behavior associated with this new form of alcohol? Find out for yourself.

How is Palcohol used?

Powdered alcohol can be used in a variety of ways. The most common way would be to combine the mixture with a given amount of water in order to create the drink the mixture was meant to simulate. The powder may also be taken orally in order to avoid the burning ‘alcohol’ taste when mixed with water, yet it takes almost an ounce of powder to equal the alcohol content of a single drink. A less common form of administration is through the use of a nebulizer, a device used to help patients with cystic fibrosis, asthma and other respiratory diseases by using compressed air to break the solution up and suspend it into small droplets that can then be inhaled directly into the lungs.

In order to curb the prolific talk of negative uses, Lipsmark (the maker of Palcohol) advocates a variety of ways powdered alcohol may benefit society. Through medical, commercial, aviation, as well as manufacturing and food applications, powdered alcohol could save many types of business hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Palcohol could save airlines fuel costs by not carrying liquid alcohol as cargo. International or overseas shipping costs for hotels and venues could be cut dramatically. These are just some of the more practical and frugal benefits of powdered alcohol.

How is Palcohol abused?

Despite its commercial applications, the bottom line is that powdered alcohol is a concept attracted mostly to teenagers and young people with ideas of how they can turn the product into a cheap and effective high. Many young people consider the concept of alcohol being in a powdered form as a way to sneak alcohol into venues and events. Also, due to the form of the substance, many minors may interpret it as being able to be insufflated, or “snorted.” Again, it is important to note that powdered alcohol is not in any kind of condensed form and that it takes nearly an ounce of powder to equate to just one mixed drink.

Is powdered alcohol legal?

In the United States powdered alcohol is regulated the same way that any typical alcoholic beverage is. You still need to be of age to purchase and ingest the powders which are intended for beverage use and also all of the same licensing and approvals are needed by re-sellers.

“Because the alcohol is not in liquid form, we can sell it to people below 16,” said project member Martyn van Nierop.

In some countries, such as the Netherlands, alcohol laws apply only to alcohol-based liquids, therefore leaving powdered alcohol lying in somewhat of a gray area. Dutch students recently created their own form of powdered alcohol as a final-year project.

Because of the legal drinking age and the fact that the product is not in liquid form, their target market is specifically youth. This would allow it not only to be sold to minors but also leaving it exempt from alcohol and tax laws.

Who created it?

The term “Palcohol” is a colloquial term much like the use of “Kleenex” for bath tissues. Palcohol licensed by Lipsmark, Inc. but because their product received so much negative press, Lipsmark had to do a fair amount of backtracking in order to quell the public’s uproar about how their product could be abused. Mark Phillips, the company’s owner and products creator, released the video below on their website in order to better explain his product’s intended use. In the video Mark urges the users to make up their own mind about powdered alcohol instead of getting “caught up in the hysteria.”

What are your thoughts on Palcohol?

After better informing yourself of the potential uses and abuses of powdered alcohol, give us your opinion. Is Palcohol a practical, frugal way to ship and ingest alcohol? Or a potential for dangerous abuse and underage drinking? Share your thoughts!

Last Updated on February 23, 2024


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