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Switzerland warns of vodka tampons

Lyssandra Sears · 24 Apr 2012, 10:18

Published: 24 Apr 2012 11:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Apr 2012 10:18 GMT+02:00

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The Swiss government has warned of the dangers associated with young people consuming alcohol with parts of the body not usually associated with drinking. 

The government is worried that new fads amongst youngsters in the United States and Spain may soon trickle over to Switzerland, online news site 20 Minuten reported.

Various new methods that are being used by young people to get drunk more quickly are potentially injurious to health, experts are warning.

One of the new crazes popular in the UK and US is eyeballing, where alcohol is poured directly into the eye in an attempt to get drunk quicker.

But according to health experts, it is untrue that the eye membrane transfers alcohol more quickly to the blood stream than drinking, as the quantities of alcohol that can be absorbed through the eye are relatively small. The practice is however highly dangerous, as the alcohol can burn through the retina, and, in the worst-case scenario, lead to blindness.

Another popular method involves young people soaking tampons in high-alcohol content spirits and then inserting them either into the vagina or rectum. While this method does transfer alcohol quickly to the blood stream, the danger here is that the alcohol can also damage the vaginal or anal linings, causing infections to break out.

The latest craze on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca is to inhale a mix of tequila and oxygen, known as an oxy-shot. The alcohol inhaled goes straight into the lungs without first being detoxified by the liver. The speed of inebriation is also dangerous, with each oxy-shot being the equivalent of approximately four alcoholic drinks.

"The forms of consumption described seem not yet to be very well known in Switzerland," the Swiss Alcohol Board writes in the April edition of its magazine.

"It may be assumed, however, that these trends - sporadically at least - will make their way to Switzerland from other European countries." 

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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