recently there was a local news report about this new disturbing trend of teenagers inserting vodka soaked tampons vaginally and rectally (males are doing this too), because they believe it's a quicker, more intense way to get drunk and not end up reeking of booze when they go home. has anyone else heard of this or even seen it in your ed? first it was snorting bath salts, now this? what the heck is wrong with people anymore?
here's the story one of our ed docs posted:
[font=microsoft sans serif]vodka tampons to get drunk?
[font=microsoft sans serif]robert glatter, md, emergency medicine, 10:19pm nov 13, 2011
[font=microsoft sans serif]if you haven't already seen this in your ed, some female teenagers have a new and dangerous way that they are experimenting with alcohol--soaking tampons in vodka. rectal use has also been reported with males and females as well.
[font=microsoft sans serif]apparently, some teenagers believe that it is a more rapid, lasting and intense way to get drunk. law enforcement as well as eds throughout the country are seeing this in increasing numbers over the past year apparently, according to a recent news story out of phoenix.
[font=microsoft sans serif]from a physiological standpoint, ethanol gets absorbed directly and rapidly from the vagina since its a highly vascular structure, and without any barriers, leading to higher serum levels of ethanol more rapidly.
[font=microsoft sans serif]beer bongs have also been utilized rectally in the same concept as a vodka soaked tampon- leading to the same rapid effect of alcohol intoxication.
[font=microsoft sans serif]teens apparently have turned to this method because they believe that they can hide the smell of alcohol from their parents as well as the police. they have also figured out that this method can avoid the nausea and vomiting and other obvious signs of ethanol intoxication- the only issue is that they often pass out before realizing that they have had too much to drink. (incidentally, it has been reported that a super tampon can hold about a shot of vodka, which is quite potent when it's absorbed directly into the bloodstream)
[font=microsoft sans serif]it is important to emphasize to teens that they will not pass a breathalyzer test because they didn't drink the booze-- the assay obviously checks for checks for a systemic alcohol level-not what is expired in their breath.
[font=microsoft sans serif]er personnel need to be aware that patients who present to an ed with a depressed level of consciousness, without the smell of alcohol and clinical suspicion for ongoing intoxication need to have a rectal and vaginal exam to exclude tampons or other foreign bodies as a source of ongoing chemical intoxication. this could obviously lead to a delay in care (and diagnosis), as well as a source of ongoing intoxication, if this is missed on physical exam.
[font=microsoft sans serif]robert glatter, md