Everclear’s high proof and fairly cheap price make it attractive to certain drinkers, especially to teens and college-aged students. Regardless of a person’s age, drinking Everclear can be very dangerous, even in small amounts.
Despite Everclear’s strength and warnings against drinking it, Everclear abuse does happen. When it occurs, the strength of this liquor can quickly place a person’s life in jeopardy.
Everclear abuse can rapidly lead to alcohol poisoning (overdose) and death. Additional dangers include alcohol dependence and addiction, brain damage, motor vehicle accidents, unprotected sex and major illness and disease, such as liver disease and an increased risk of certain cancers.
A person may consume Everclear unknowingly, as it’s often mixed into other popular drinks, such as Jungle Juice, while others fall prey to its allure because of peer pressure. Certain establishments are even creating high-octane craft cocktails that make Everclear more appealing to their patrons.
On the other hand, a person who is addicted to alcohol may purposely drink this substance in an attempt to increase the pleasurable effects of alcohol or to overcome a tolerance. Alcohol addiction causes compulsive behaviors that override a person’s judgment, placing their body and mind in harm’s way.
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Everclear is a grain-distilled spirit. At 151 and 190 proof, 75.5 percent and 95 percent, respectively, Everclear is the most potent liquor on the market. To put this in perspective, many other popular liquors, such as vodka and rum, are less than half the potency of Everclear 190, falling around 80 proof. Drinking one shot of Everclear 190 more than doubles the effect of alcohol on a person’s body.
Because of the potency and dangers that surround it, the stronger proof is illegal in many states across the U.S. But, certain people go to great lengths to find and use this substance. Some go so far as to drive across state lines or have a friend or family member bring them a bottle from out of state.
As the name suggests, Everclear is clear, and for the most part tasteless and odorless, a combination that makes it dangerous when mixed into a drink. Because of this, a person may not realize that they are consuming it (as opposed to a different liquor) and drink at the rate they normally do. This is especially dangerous when a person is binge drinking, or consuming a large amount of drinks in a small amount of time.
Even with the knowledge that a person is consuming Everclear, it’s far too easy to drink a dangerous amount of Everclear in a short time. Just one shot of Everclear could make a person sick and endanger their health in a very short amount of time.
According to the manufacturers, Everclear is not meant to be consumed straight, rather it is considered an “unfinished ingredient” intended to be diluted or used to make alcohol of a lower proof. Despite this warning, many people continue to drink this substance in a way other than intended, which can quickly place them at risk of serious harm.
The Dangers Of Everclear Abuse In Teens And College Students
Everclear has gained an almost urban legend status with many, a dangerous perception that is widely held with adolescents, teens and college-aged individuals. Underage alcohol abuse is far too prevalent. The following 2016 findings reported that in individuals aged 12 through 20 there were:
- 7.3 million current alcohol users.
- 4.5 million binge alcohol users.
- 1.1 million heavy alcohol users.
While alcohol abuse is dangerous at any age, especially with such a strong spirit, drinking at these ages carries additional risks.
The developing brain is more vulnerable to alcohol’s effects. The prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for controlling emotions and impulses and overseeing decision-making, does not fully develop until a person is in their mid-twenties.
Because of this, an underage person’s ability to make sound judgments and decisions can be compromised, a fact that can lead to risky behaviors like binge drinking. Additionally, research shows that alcohol abuse at these ages can harm the brain, even to the point of irreversible brain damage.
One study found that heavy-drinking teens could damage the nerve matter, or white tissue, of their brains. Binge drinking at these ages was shown to impair a person’s memory and ability to think. Further, the damage appeared to vary between the genders. Boys suffered attention problems while girls had a more difficult time comprehending and processing visual information. These effects could potentially harm a person’s studies and ability to excel in school.
Everclear’s Tie To Violence
Alcohol reduces a person’s inhibitions, and at a normal alcohol content, drinking can cause certain people to act out in an aggravated or confrontational way. A recent study found that Everclear was one of eight brands closely linked to fights and alcohol-related violence. In fact, it rated higher than any other alcoholic beverage studied.
The study asked 1,031 underage drinkers, ages 13 to 20 years, to self-report on their experiences with alcohol-related fights and injuries. Researchers found that 10.5 percent of youth who experienced alcohol-related fights, injuries, or injury-related medical visits in the year previous had consumed Everclear 190.
The Dangers Of Smoking Everclear
As people look for new ways to increase the buzz of alcohol and avoid some of its unpleasant effects, dangerous methods of consuming alcohol are increasing in popularity. In recent years, smoking alcohol has become more widespread, a behavior that could make Everclear even more dangerous.
Reports suggest that some people are experimenting with smoking Everclear. Smoking alcohol has gained in popularity for several reasons, namely due to the intrigue surrounding it and the assumption that this method bypasses the calories normally associated with drinking.
For this reason, smoking alcohol has been tied to “drunkorexia,” a dangerous behavior where people don’t eat enough, but continue to abuse alcohol. This can cause malnourishment and other health problems. Using alcohol this way can also cause overdose more rapidly, as a person isn’t able to control the amount of alcohol they’re using as well as when it’s in the liquid form.
Alcohol Poisoning: Overdosing On Alcohol
Alcohol intoxication is considered to be socially acceptable by many. A fine line exists between intoxication and alcohol poisoning. Many people may not realize that alcohol poisoning is actually an overdose on alcohol. With Everclear, a person may overdose on alcohol after consuming what they believe to be a small number of drinks.
An alcohol overdose happens because a person’s body cannot keep up with the amount of alcohol flooding its system. This excess amount causes the nervous and respiratory systems to struggle, changes that can be life-threatening. As this occurs, the amount of toxins created from the breakdown of alcohol build up. When severe, these effects can cause basic life support functions in a person’s body to shut down.
Like other overdoses, without prompt medical help, severe alcohol poisoning could be fatal. If a person is unconscious or barely able to stay awake, emergency medical services may be necessary.
The best way to prevent this is to get a person help as soon as there’s any concern that they are overdosing. Knowing the signs of an alcohol overdose aids in getting help faster.
Signs of alcohol poisoning are:
- blue-hued or pale skin
- breathing becomes slow or irregular
- difficulty walking
- low body temperature (hypothermia)
- a person cannot be roused
- slurred speech
- stomach pain
- stomach and intestinal bleeding
- vomiting (blood may be present)
While many people recover from an alcohol overdose, others do not. In the worst-case scenario a person could choke and suffocate on their vomit or slip into a coma and die.
Certain information can help the first responders to provide better care. When calling 911, have as much of the following information ready:
- the person’s age and weight
- the person’s condition
- what they drank (ingredients and percentage of alcohol)
- how much they drank
- when the alcohol was consumed
- if they’re using any other drugs
- if they have any medical conditions
If a person is believed to be overdosing, move them on their side (not on their back) so they don’t swallow or fall face-first into their vomit.
Additional Risks Of Everclear Alcohol Abuse
Both binge and heavy drinking any form of alcohol can cause a host of health and serious medical problems. Drinking alcohol with an extreme alcohol content, like Everclear, could place a person at a greater risk of developing these conditions.
Binge and heavy drinking have been linked to:
- brain damage
- cardiac problems (stroke, heart disease)
- certain types of cancer (breast, colon, esophagus, mouth, throat, liver)
- fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- an increased risk of falls and injuries
- liver disease
- memory and learning problems
- pregnancy complications (miscarriage, stillbirth)
- sexually transmitted diseases
- sudden infant death syndrome
- unintended pregnancy
Alcohol abuse and the chronic patterns of drinking associated with alcoholism can also cause serious problems in a person’s family, relationships and career.
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Alcohol abuse has also been linked to various mood and anxiety disorders. These harmful drinking patterns can upset a person’s mental and emotional health, to the extent they may cause or aggravate certain mental health problems, including anxiety, ADHD and depression.
The sooner a person is able to conquer their alcohol abuse, the better. Sobriety can help to reduce the short- and long-term effects of alcohol abuse and addiction.
Getting Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction
Withdrawing from alcohol, especially for those who have drank heavily on a regular basis for a long time, can be dangerous. While certain symptoms of withdrawal can be minor and possibly be treated with outpatient care, others can be life-threatening.
Severe alcohol withdrawal can cause seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). Without immediate, medical help these states can be fatal. Creating a treatment plan that outlines a medical detox, instead of withdrawing without medical supervision, can help protect a person from this risk. Enrolling in a medically supervised detoxification program provides intensive, medical care 24 hours a day until a person is stable.
Once a person’s body has started to heal and regain normal functioning, it’s time to work on treating the mental and emotional impacts of addiction. Chronic alcohol abuse can color the way a person thinks and relates to the world around them. Alcohol rehabilitation programs teach a person to balance their thoughts, emotions and behaviors in a more positive way, commonly by the aid of behavioral therapies.
Much of the damage caused by alcohol addiction is deep-reaching. Because of this, many people find greater success in an inpatient drug rehab program that gives them more time to focus on building a sober life. These problems may also offer dual diagnosis treatment for people who have a co-occurring mental health disorder.