When our counselors read that “Palcohol” won federal approval this month, we just thought, “Wonderful. One more thing to look out for now.” Palcohol is a controversial powdered alcohol product that is packaged in a small, portable pouch. And though originally designed with the idea that hikers can enjoy a refreshing beverage after their sweaty adventures without having to carry heavy bottles, I’m not so sure that this target market will be the ones lining up to purchase it. Something about “Pargaritas” and “Partinis” don’t seem to go hand and hand with outdoor enthusiasts. But that could just be me.
What would concern me is that powdered alcohol – with it’s discreet pouch and ability to be so easily transported – could exacerbate underage alcohol abuse. Underage drinking is a growing epidemic and at i360 we often see the aftermath of the affiliated tragic consequences. It’s not a problem just for some families – it’s a concern that affects the nation as a whole.
Here are some warning signs of underage drinking:
- Academic and/or behavioral problems in school or after-school activities
- Changing groups of friends
- Less interest in activities such as sports, music, and other hobbies
- Change in appearance or clothing style
- Slurred speech
- Lower energy
- Memory and/or concentration problems
By the age of 15, over 50% of teens have had at least one drink (ref: NIAAA). By the age of 18, more than 70% of teens have had at least one drink. And when young people drink, more than 90% of the time they consume their alcohol by binge drinking. And that’s scary. Our duty at i360 goes beyond the four walls of therapy; we are here to educate, bring awareness, and provide advice when we are able. Parents, we encourage you to be as actively involved in your child’s life as you can. Have conversations with them about the dangers of drinking and about life in general. Get to know their friends. Provide a good example. And watch out for “Palcohol”…!
For more on the new Palcohol approval, read this CBS News Article here from March 11, 2015, 11:46 AM.