Berlin* overdosed. She was at the brink of death, caused by alcohol poisoning. She *just about* survived. She still does it, seemingly impervious to the doctor’s warnings. She had used three max sized tampons, dipping them in gin and inserting them one at a time into her vagina. Now, she says, she knows her limits: two tampons.
“I started using vodka tampons while form three after a friend told me about it,’’ Berlin says, adding that her sister too was on it. ‘‘My family doesn’t use pads – so tampons have been our thing.”
What It Is: Tampons as a medium. It is a contemporary technique used by younger revelers to get drunk. The trend’s popularity has been growing silently on campuses and local high schools. YouTube is flush with videos of experimenting youngins introducing alcohol to their nether regions.
Why It Matters: Ninety percent of alcohol consumed by underage drinkers happens while binge drinking. When Berlin* started using tampons as a shortcut to get drunk, she only hoped to bypass the strict firewall her parents had set at home. You cannot drink in my house, the old man’s rule said. Nothing, however, said that she couldn’t find a new way to get the alcohol ingested in her body while at home – it wasn’t drinking, it was getting drunk. Semantics. Yes. And so Berlin found a way: using vodka tampons, through which she could not only get high without her parents smelling alcohol in her breath, but get high faster and for cheaper.
“I still drink and I love getting high but I don’t want to go through the drinking process, that’s why I prefer tampons,’’ she says. ‘‘When the alcoholic levels go low, I get a fresh tampon.”
How It Works: Vodka tampons or butt chugging (used by men to introduce alcohol into the rectum via the anus i.e. as an enema)—depending on what you call it—allows the alcohol to bypass the liver’s filtering and metabolic processes so that the ethanol drains straight into the bloodstream via veins to the vena cava. It is, in other words, short-circuiting your body’s defense mechanisms by putting liquor in your ass/vagina, creating a euphoric, intense and near-instant buzz. It’s also called ‘slimming.’ Or if you are feeling particularly inspired, the proper
bro-menclature, I believe, is “Tour de Franzia”. It is a theater of the absurd.
The tampon is doused with a shot of alcohol, which is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream to produce rapid intoxication by inserting into the vagina.
- Physicians say that the alcohol can burn or damage the vagina or rectum. The craze also can cause alcohol poisoning and have life-threatening consequences such as alcohol poisoning as one absorbs too much alcohol. And unlike traditional drinking, you can’t vomit to get the excess alcohol out of your body.
- Irritation inside the vagina or anus. This is not only physically uncomfortable. But can highly increase your chances of contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) if you engage in sexual intercourse afterward.
- It really doesn’t eliminate alcohol-breath. If you have alcohol in your blood (whether it is from drinking, tamponing, or eyeballing some booze), you will necessarily be breathing some of it out and it will show up on a Breathalyzer test. That’s why it reads ‘blood alcohol content’ or BAC.
- It’s gross, risky, dangerous and very unsafe.
You, Too, Can Get Unlucky: In Knoxville, Tennessee, a student was hospitalized with the effects of alcohol poisoning and a dangerously high blood alcohol level. The then 20-year-old, Alexander Broughton was delivered to the hospital after midnight on Sept. 22, with his blood level teetering at nearly six times the intoxication level permitted.
The Bottom Line: Using tampons/butt-chugging can be a quick and efficient way to get drunk, but it comes with some major risks that can be life threatening. If you or someone you know has an alcohol abuse problem visit Befrienders Kenya or contact 0722 178177.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.