An alcohol enema, also known colloquially as butt-chugging, is the act of introducing alcohol into the rectum and colon via the anus. This method of alcohol consumption can be 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.
Effects and dangers
An alcohol enema is a faster method of alcohol intoxication since the alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. The lower gastrointestinal tract lacks the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme present in the stomach and liver that breaks down ethanol into acetylaledhyde. Acetylaldehyde is actually more toxic than ethanol (drinking alcohol) and is responsible for most chronic effects of ethanol. When anally absorbed, ethanol will still eventually arrive at the liver, but the high alcohol content could overwhelm the organ. Additionally, consuming the alcohol rectally neutralizes the body's ability to reject the toxin by vomiting.
Overall, experts believe that alcohol enemas are a dangerous method to consume alcohol, as it can be harder to control the dose.
It is unclear when alcohol enemas first appeared or the frequency of their usage. Dr. Aaron White of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said "people shouldn't get the impression that it's a widespread phenomenon."
The use of such enemas is believed to be limited to isolated incidents.
In May 2004, a 58-year-old machine shop owner of Lake Jackson, Texas, died after his wife administered an alcohol enema of sherry. In total, the man consumed two large bottles of sherry, containing about three liters of the alcohol. He suffered from alcoholism and had difficulty ingesting alcohol orally because of a painful throat ailment. His wife was indicted on a charge of negligent homicide. In August 2007, prosecutors dropped the charges due to insufficient evidence.
- "Teens using vodka tampons to get drunk". KPHO-TV. 7 November 2011.
- "Experts: Alcohol enemas 'extremely dangerous'". CNN. 26 September 2012.
- "Tennessee fraternity suspended after alcohol enemas". CNN. 26 September 2012.
- "Woman accused of giving husband lethal sherry enema". Houston Chronicle. 2 February 2005.
- "Charges dropped in sherry-enema death". Houston Chronicle. 4 October 2007.
- "Charges dismissed in Texas sherry enema death". Reuters. 3 October 2007.