Alternative psychoactive alcohol use

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Ethyl alcohol substitutes[edit]

Tertiary alcohols[edit]

Alcohols other than ethanol have been used as they are usually not covered by alcohol taxes and alcohol laws. Most alcohols are also significantly more potent than ethanol (e.g. 2M2B requires 20 times lower dose), which provides minimal energy intake.

Some tertiary alcohols with historical medical use have been used as ethyl alcohol substitutes as they are not metabolized into toxic aldehydes like acetaldehyde:

  • 2M2B - Found in trace quantities in alcoholic beverages, especially cassava fermented. 20 times more potent than ethanol. 2M2B have, despite being 20 x more potent than EtOH, a therapeutic index of 2.8 that of ethanol (potency compared to EtOH/(EtOH LD50/t-AmOH LD50[1] ratio) = 20/(7060/1000) = 2.8) oral in rat.
  • Ethchlorvynol - During their heyday, they were known on the street as "jelly-bellies" or "pickles".
  • Methylpentynol
  • UMB68 - similar in structure to GHB.

Synthetic alcohol substitute[edit]

A Synthetic alcohol substitute is a proposed substitute for alcoholic beverages, and gives the drinker the effects of drunkenness without many of the risks of alcohol. It is currently being developed by a team at Imperial College London, led by Professor David Nutt, chair of the ISCD. It is based on benzodiazepines.[2]

Fermentation species[edit]

Saliva-fermented beverages[edit]

The mycological significance of this dual fermentation process was previously unrecognized.[3] The process of chewing grains or other starches was used in the production of alcoholic beverages in pre-modern cultures around the world; sake in Japan is an example. To date this tradition is still popular among indigenous communities around the world with cassava being the most commonly used plant.

Edible mushroom fermentation[edit]

  • Wine can be made by using mushroom fruit bodies instead of microorganisms like Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Pleurotus ostreatus have been demonstrated to produce 12.2% ABV, and Agaricus blazei 8% ABV. It seems to be a functional food which can be expected to have preventive effects against cancer and thrombosis.[4]

Alcohol state of matter[edit]

  • Solid: Alcohol powder made by molecular encapsulate alcohol, usually with cyclodextrin. The powder is usable with different routes of administration (see ROA on this page).
  • Liquid: This is the normal state of matter for most alcohols. A unique exception being 2-Methylpropan-2-ol which tends to be a solid at room temperature, with a melting point slightly above 25 °C.
  • Gas: Alcohol mist can be formed with a nebulizer for inhalation (see ROA on this page).

Routes of administration[edit]


Alcohol powder is useful with capsules to eliminate the burning taste of rectified spirit upon ingestion. The powder will produce an alcoholic drink when mixed with water.


It will require about 20 x 1 gram capsules to provide 20 cL pure ethanol which may be inconvenient. 2M2B is one of few alcohols potent enough for practical use for alcohol supplementation as it is 20 times more potent. When used in this way combined with time release technology dosage form (e.g. a few small-sized capsules with different time-release), potent alcohols can provide low-dose alcohol therapy to eliminate alcohol intoxication, lower the risk for alcohol dependency, and yet provide eventual health effects.



Alcohol inhalation or "alcohol smoking" uses various techniques to vaporize or nebulize alcohol into a mist for inhalation. Also, alcohol powder that is molecularly encapsulated with cyclodextrin can be used with a nebulizer[5] for easier inhalation into the lungs than the ordinarily harsh vapors.


Menthol is an alcohol which act as an analgesic, and has GABAAergic activity. It is also a weak kappa opioid receptor agonist. It may be smoked from Menthol cigarettes. In addition, ethanol from alcoholic drinks may be igested using a practice called "smoking alcohol". Smoking alcohol is inhaling the vapors of an alcoholic drink by vaporizing the alcohol using techniques involving pumps or dry ice.[6]



Ethanol is usually only injected intravenously as antidote against ethylene glycol or methanol poisoning (see #Antidote). However, diluted distilled beverages are also injected by intravenous drug users, occasionally when they are unable to access other drugs and there is limited alcohol available to get intoxicated orally. One of the tertiary alcohols, ethchlorvynol, is not compatible with intravenous injection and serious injury or death can occur when it is used in this manner[7]


Ethanol is safe to use intramuscularly.[citation needed]


An alcohol enema, colloquially known as butt-chugging, is the act of introducing alcohol into the rectum and colon via the anus. This method of alcohol consumption is dangerous because it leads to faster intoxication since the alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and neutralizes the body's ability to reject the toxin by vomiting.


Teens have been known to use vodka-soaked tampons to get drunk.[8]




Pharmaceutical grade ethanol (rectified spirit) diluted 5–10% in 5% dextrose is usually given intravenously as an ethylene glycol or methanol poisoning treatment.[9][10]

However, sometimes ethanol is given orally in the form of distilled beverages such as whisky, vodka, or gin for ethylene glycol or methanol poisoning treatment when no pharmaceutical ethanol solutions are available.[9] In one case, doctors saved a poisoned tourist using a vodka drip.[11]


A tincture is typically an alcoholic extract of plant or animal material or solution.

To qualify as an alcoholic tincture, the extract should have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60% or 80-120 proof. Sometimes even a 90% or 180 proof tincture is achieved.[12]


Vodka can be used for making elixirs.

An elixir (Arabic: الإكسير, Al-Ikseer, the effective recipe‎, Greek: ξήριον, medical powder, xerion "powder for drying wounds", from ξηρός, xeros dry[13][14]) is a clear, sweet-flavored liquid used for medicinal purposes, to be taken orally and intended to cure one's ills. When used as a pharmaceutical preparation, an elixir contains at least one active ingredient designed to be taken orally.

Fire breathing[edit]

Distilled beverages (spirits) are often used as fuel in fire breathing which also can produce a subtle alcohol intoxication as the alcohol by volume often are quite pure.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schaffarzick, R. W.; Brown, B. J. (1952). "The anticonvulsant activity and toxicity of methylparafynol (dormison) and some other alcohols". Science 116 (3024): 663–665. doi:10.1126/science.116.3024.663. PMID 13028241.  edit
  2. ^ Ex drugs tsar creates synthetic alcohol that gives buzz without the hangover | Mail Online
  3. ^ Parakari, an indigenous fermented beverage... [Mycologia. 2005 Jan-Feb] - PubMed - NCBI
  4. ^ Characteristics of wine produced b... [Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2001] - PubMed - NCBI
  5. ^ Le, V. N.; Leterme, P.; Gayot, A.; Flament, M. P. (2006). "Aerosolization potential of cyclodextrins--influence of the operating conditions". PDA journal of pharmaceutical science and technology / PDA 60 (5): 314–322. PMID 17089700.  edit
  6. ^ Smoking Alcohol Could Lead To Overdosing
  7. ^ Glauser, F. L.; Smith, W. R.; Caldwell, A.; Hoshiko, M.; Dolan, G. S.; Baer, H.; Olsher, N. (1976). "Ethchlorvynol (Placidyl)-induced pulmonary edema". Annals of internal medicine 84 (1): 46–48. PMID 942681.  edit
  8. ^ Teens using vodka tampons to get drunk - CBS 5 - KPHO
  9. ^ a b Brent J (2001). "Current management of ethylene glycol poisoning". Drugs 61 (7): 979–88. doi:10.2165/00003495-200161070-00006. ISSN 0012-6667. PMID 11434452. 
  10. ^ Brent R. Ekins, et al. (Mar 1985). "Standardized Treatment of Severe Methanol Poisoning With Ethanol and Hemodialysis". West J Med. 142 (3): 337–40. PMC 1306022. 
  11. ^ "Poisoned tourist saved with vodka drip". NBC News. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  12. ^ Groot Handboek Geneeskrachtige Planten by Geert Verhelst
  13. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  14. ^ elixir - definition and meaning