Doctors: Teens drink hand sanitizer to get drunk

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Doctors say teens are drinking hand sanitizer to get drunk, and because of its high alcohol content, the result can be fatal.

In the past, doctors have warned against the dangers of using cough medicine or mouthwash for a buzz.

But doctors say this new trend is one of the most dangerous.

"It's about 70 percent alcohol. When you think about it, a glass of wine is about 6 percent, beer can be up to 8 percent. So it's a very high concentration of alcohol," said Dr. Jeff Goldhagen with the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Some Jacksonville-area parents had never heard of teens drinking hand sanitizer, but said they understood why it could become popular.

"They find out something, it will just spread through schools and things like that," said Teria Williams.

"To use that to get drink or high, man, what are they going to think of next," said Craig Fuce.

Doctors advise parents to monitor hand sanitizer in the house like medicines or alcohol.

"Ironically, we are worried about illicit drugs, when in fact prescription drugs and these other types of intoxicants are far more of a problem than traditional illicit drugs," said Dr. Goldhagen.

Doctors also suggest buying foam hand sanitizer instead of the liquid kind because it's more difficult to extract alcohol from the foam.

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