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California may soon ban sale of powdered alcohol

Published On: 03-01-2016 in Category: addiction, substance abuse

California may soon ban sale of powdered alcohol

Almost half of the states in America have banned the sale of powdered alcohol, which is also known as Palcohol, and California may soon join the group. A bill proposing the ban was introduced by California State Senate Minority Leader Emeritus Bob Huff earlier in the year.

Senator Huff introduced the bill, SB 819, in January 2016 at the start of the 2016 legislative session. He represents the 29th Senate District, covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties.

About Palcohol

Powdered alcohol is manufactured and sold under the brand name Palcohol by a private company called Lipsmark. It is sold in small pouches as freeze-dried version of vodka, rum and three other cocktails namely Cosmopolitan, Powderita and Lemon Drop.

Equivalent to a shot of alcohol, when the crystallized formula is mixed with water, it forms a cocktail. It was approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in March 2015. However, the product has not hit market shelves yet and is already banned in 27 states.

Mark Philips, the manufacturer of the product, says that it is a safer version of alcohol and banning the product will be a bad idea. He argues that attempts to ban the product are restricting the consumers’ freedom of choice.

Concerns over Palcohol

Experts say there is a potential danger in legalizing Palcohol as it can be easily mixed in energy drinks or beverages with alcohol and can create a dangerously potent concoction. It can also be misused by children in case it becomes legal, say experts.

Awareness groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving have also expressed concern over powdered alcohol and other such products like alcoholic whipped cream, vapors and caffeine-laced alcohol. According to these groups, food products with alcohol content have the potential to attract youth that can encourage underage drinking.

According to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, more than 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths are reported in the U.S. annually. California alone reported nearly 300 deaths annually on an average from 2010 to 2012.

Ban on Palcohol

Senator Huff’s Bill has managed bipartisan support and he is waiting for its first policy hearing in the coming months. Mihae Jung, Co-Chair of Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance (LA DAPA), said, “We agree and the sense of urgency is real. We need California’s elected state leaders to take action this year to keep this public health and safety threat out of California.”

“This substance is yet another drug that we should be concerned about and for good reason,” Senator Huff said, adding, “Some are predicting Palcohol will become the ‘Kool-Aid of teenage binge drinking,’ and this is a concern I agree with.”

In California, Los Angeles and Orange are also gearing up to keep Palcohol at a safe distance from people. Those already addicted to certain substance can easily fall prey to new addictive products.

If you or your loved one is struggling with an addiction, help is available. The Los Angeles Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can suggest holistic and well-balanced treatment programs to those in need. Our specialists can help you get all the relevant information you need. You can reach us at our 24/7 helpline number 213-986-2445 or via online chat.

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