Cocktails are going the way of Kool-Aid with a new powdered alcohol that’s sure to delight certain sectors of the population and raise alarms among others.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau earlier this month approved sales of Palcohol, made by the Arizona-based Lipsmark LLC.
Palcohol will be sold as powdered vodka, rum or the cocktails cosmopolitan, lemon drop or “powderita,” which is essentially a Margarita. The company is marketing it toward travelers, outdoors enthusiasts, and airline and hospitality executives who want to mix up adult treats without the bulk of those little nip bottles.
“It’s a revolutionary new product that can help so many industries. Unfortunately, no one seems to understand that,” the company laments on its website.
Indeed. Several states—including Florida—are considering banning the product.
“Responsible consumption of powdered alcohol would not be a concern, but the potential for abuse of the product causes the Department of Health in Collier County to view Palcohol with caution,” says Stephanie Vick, the administrator of the Department of Health in Collier County.
Collier County, she points out, already tends to overindulge—19.2 percent of adults engage in heavy or binge drinking, compared to 15 percent of Florida adults overall, according to the latest state health data.
“As we know, excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for numerous adverse health conditions and outcomes, such as alcohol poisoning, hypertension, heart disease, fetal alcohol syndrome as well as violence and its associated disorder, and sexually transmitted diseases,” Vick says.
Melanie Black, executive director of Drug Free Collier County, naturally, is worried about the kids, who already find all sorts of creative ways to sneak and abuse alcohol.
“I just would hope that (regulations) would be in the forefront before we just put it out there on the shelves. What can we do to keep it out of kids’ hands?” she asks.
Adds Brenda Illiff, executive director of Hazelden, Naples, part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation: “This troubling new product will open up one more way to make alcohol easier to abuse. Alcohol remains the No. 1 most abused substance in this country. Nearly 18 million Americans have alcoholism or related problems, according to the National Institutes for Health, and some 3 in 10 adults drink at levels putting them at risk for alcoholism, liver disease and other problems.”
Decide for yourself: Visit palchohol.com to learn more about the product.
Parents and caregivers can view tips on keeping all forms of illicit substances out of the hands of teens at hazelden.org/web/public/resparenttips.page.