Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizer Is a Big Problem in Sweden

By Mike Pomranz |


Teenagers will do anything to get drunk. Once back in my younger days, I drank – and I’m a little embarrassed to talk about this, but it’s completely true – a Milwaukee’s Best.

But apparently, teenagers in Sweden are going to greater extremes, with the teen-favorite beverage du jour not really a beverage at all. Instead, kids are resorting to getting intoxicated off the alcohol in hand sanitizer. The problem has become so bad that the Swedish government has stepped in, with police in the southwest part of the country requiring “alcogel” hand sanitizers be moved behind pharmacy counters.

Possibly even more alarming, at least for those who value good taste, is news that some of these teens are even taking the mixologist route when downing the 70 percent alcohol gels. “The youths are mixing drinks from sanitizer gels and orange juice,” one police official was quoted as saying. That is the recipe for the saddest Screwdriver ever made… or as I like to call it, a Screwzitizer. Oh, or maybe a Tequila Sanitize.

Either way, teens drinking the high alcohol products is not a laughing matter, and the problem isn’t isolated to only Sweden. As Munchies points out, poison control centers in the US have also seen calls regarding hand sanitizers skyrocket in recent years, from around 3,200 cases in 2010 to over 16,000 in 2012.

It’s all making that Milwaukee’s Best sound pretty good in comparison.

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