The latest craze to hit Colorado is powdered or vaporized alcohol. Teens are experimenting with alcohol in gas and solid forms at increased levels. Denver health reports having treated over 24 patients recently who have gotten sick after inhaling alcohol vapors or ingesting solid alcohol.
“Vaping” is a process where alcohol is heated in a device similar to a vaporizer and inhaled, usually through a straw. Vaping has been described by users as causing an immediate and intense high. Normally, when a drink is taken, alcohol is absorbed 10 percent through the stomach and 85 percent in the small intestine. By bypassing the digestive system Vaping causes alcohol to be ingested directly to the bloodstream through the lungs. This causes dangerous levels of intoxication. Research shows that the swift infusion of alcohol to the brain makes inhalation more addictive than regular drinking. The danger of vaporized alcohol entering the bloodstream directly, as opposed to the digestive system, means that protective impulses - such as vomiting - are bypassed.
Similar to a traditional vaporizer, the Vaportini became available on-line last December. Selling for only $35, the device heats and releases intoxicating vapors, which are breathed through a straw after being heated by a candle to 140 Fahrenheit. On the other end of the spectrum is the Vapshot, selling for $600 to $700. According to the creators, Vapshot is an entire drink system consisting of “specially designed containers, which are pressurized and premixed with various spirits. When served, you simply twist the cap, "pop the top" and a portion of the liquor will instantly vaporize right before your eyes”. How can one resist?
Powdered alcohol is just that, alcohol in powdered form. But it isn’t dehydrated or freeze-dried booze, instead it’s tiny bits of liquid ethanol enclosed in cyclodextrins, which are literally small rings of sugar. When added to water, the sugar dissolves and the alcohol is released into the drink. It’s intended to make drinking alcohol a little bit easier - and more portable. Unfortunately, like so many things, it can be misused.
Because powdered alcohol is very easy to eat, consumers can very quickly ingest dangerous levels of alcohol. Powdered alcohols contain anywhere between 30 to 60% ethanol. A 1.8-ounce packet could contain as much as 1.06 ounces of ethanol; that's almost twice the alcohol content in a can of beer. It is easy to conceal, making it perfect to sneak into concerts, sporting events, school! It’s easy to sprinkle on food. In addition to over consumption new, creative methods of use have been discovered. One of those is snorting. Snorting creates the same problems as vaping. By bypassing the digestive system the results are intense and dangerous.
Currently unavailable for sale in the US, the most popular product, Palcohol, is available on-line and is awaiting federal approval to hit the shelves this fall. Made by Arizona company Lipsmark, Palcohol will come in six different varieties of single-drink pouches. It will be packaged like Crystal Light and Kool-Aid.
Alaska and South Carolina have already banned the sale of Palcohol. New York, Minnesota and Vermont are trying to do the same. I intend to add Colorado to the growing list in 2015!
Sold openly in stores, popular with kids and unpredictably dangerous, synthetic pot is just around the corner
The most complicated drug problem in the world right now isn’t meth or cocaine or or heroin. It is synthetic drugs, also known as legal highs or designer drugs. Five years ago, these substances were virtually unheard of. Now, say drug monitors and law-enforcement officials, they are spreading to eager buyers everywhere at an unprecedented speed.
With street names like K2 and Spice, these substances are widely available, sold openly in stores with little fear of prosecution. Faced with their rapid proliferation, legislators are looking for ways to respond.
Mixed by chemists in labs, mostly in Asia, synthetics are chemical compounds designed to mimic the effects of naturally occurring drugs like marijuana and cocaine while staying just inside the law. Because the newest compounds don’t yet appear on state and federal lists of illegal drugs, the sellers can market them as legal. As soon as authorities add a compound to the prohibited list, the chemists tweak the formula—ever so slightly—to make a new substance that purports to be legal.
May 28, 2013: The Gazette released an article following Representative Landgraf's town hall on May 27th at the Fountain Senior Center. The town hall focused on a legislative update concerning second amendment rights.
From the Gazette: A week and a half ago, there wasn’t a single person running for House District 21, which, under the newly drawn legislative maps, covers the southwestern border of El Paso County. (The incumbent, Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Bob Gardner, has been pushed into HD 20, where he’s running unopposed.) But two days ago, a pair of Republicans filed with the secretary of state, creating the FOURTH primary in El Paso County’s 13 legislative districts.
From the Independent: Republican Lois Landgraf, former Fountain councilwoman, announces today that she will be seeking the District 21 seat in the state House. The district lies south of the Springs, and includes the areas in and surrounding Fountain, Fort Carson and Security-Widefield.