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bottle of alcoholThe past few days have seen some interesting developments in the use of substances in America. We live in an interesting time when a more open and permissive society has led to the acceptance –some would say promotion- of intoxication. With the legalization of marijuana in both Washington State and Colorado, and the expansion of medicinal marijuana in several other populous states such as California, marijuana isn’t far away from being as accepted as alcohol.

Discussing alcohol, an especially troubling new product seems poised for release into the US market. “Palcohol” or powdered alcohol has been submitted for release from parent company Lipsmark. The new form of alcohol would allow consumers to purchase different flavored powder, which could then be put into water bottles or other like beverages, for a quick refreshing adult beverage. The problem is, alcoholism currently affects a large portion of the US. According to the CDC, 51.3% Percent of adults 18 years of age and over, are regular drinkers already. To boot, Nearly 9 million youths, ages 12 to 20, in this country report they have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. The rate of current alcohol consumption increases with increasing age according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 1% at age 12 to 15% at age 16, and 39% at age 20. So despite the debate over marijuana, alcohol remains a big problem.

Now how could Palcohol and alcohol abuse complicate things? Well first, the ability to buy powdered alcohol provides an extremely easy way to transport, hide, or store alcohol. This could certainly increase problems with distribution to minors. Second, minors would most certainly be more attracted to a more easily concealed method of containing alcohol. Lastly and most importantly, alcohol that is in powdered form could easily be snorted, added to unsuspecting other products, creating potential rape situations, huge potential for alcohol poisoning, and in general, making alcohol a formidable substance than it already is!

Now, we are all for free market and innovation, it just seems that powdered alcohol is the last thing we need. Alcoholism, alcohol abuse, underage drinking, and collegiate binge drinking, create huge health problems in the US. The addition of powdered alcohol to the market, or the allowing of the product to gain entrance into the market, would most certainly put more people, especially young people, at increased risk. With a more open attitude towards substance use, it will be interesting to see what statistics on addiction look like in the few years.

It is evident at Matthew Bruhin & Associates, that alcoholism and marijuana addiction are very much staples in the local landscape. Luckily, our office has very good treatment options for those that struggle with marijuana or alcohol abuse. Our San Diego alcohol counseling and marijuana addiction counseling, is a very effective way to start dealing with some of the problems that are associated with addiction. We also offer coaching, evaluation, and testing to help with sobriety. If you or someone you know, struggles with addiction, or if you are someone that wants help cutting back on alcohol or marijuana, please call our offices at 619-683-3774 for an initial appointment. We offer the finest in San Diego addiction treatment.

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