Over the past few weeks “alcohol enemas” have received wide media attention following an incident at the University of Tennessee involving a fraternity student. The student was in critical condition (but has since been released) last weekend with a blood alcohol level of 0.40, which is five times the legal limit and can result in death by alcohol poisoning.
According to the Knoxville, TN Police Spokesman Darrell DeBusk, “Upon extensive questioning, it is believed that members of the fraternity were using rubber tubing inserted into their rectums as a conduit for alcohol as the abundance of capillaries and blood vessels present greatly heightens the level and speed of the alcohol entering the bloodstream as it bypasses the filtering by the liver.”
As often seen with substance abuse, the tolerance level for the substance increases and abusers attempt to get their high through a faster mechanism. The slowest administration is through oral ingestion and the fastest is through intravenous transmission. The alcohol enema serves just like an IV, as it goes directly through to the blood stream. According to Aaron White from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) the use of enemas “makes it all the more dangerous, because your body can’t reject the toxin &hellipsis; When you do it rectally you may still throw up, but there’s nothing to throw up here. It’s kind of like a point of no return once you put it in there that way.”
Alcohol enemas were otherwise unknown to many, including the Chancellor of Student Life at UT who said, “Shock would be an overstatement … I myself have never heard of what has been alleged.” Although alcohol enemas may be unheard of, the general problem of underage drinking is well known across college campuses throughout the US. It is estimated that 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 experience alcohol related deaths, according to the NIAAA. These deaths can include alcohol poisoning or injuries such as car accidents or falls.
What can start out as casual drinking for your adults can soon turn into alcohol abuse and dependence with dangerous consequences. Harmony Foundation has seen this within its own admissions – with an increase in young adults from across the US, both in and out of college, who have suffered the negative and often unintended consequences of alcohol abuse.
If you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse, Harmony foundation can help through our addiction treatment programs and our specialized treatment tracks for men, women, and college age young adults.