Alternative use of alcohols

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Fatal overdose may occur when alcohol is combined with other depressants such as opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, gabapentinoids, thienodiazepines or other GABAergic substances.[1]

It is strongly discouraged to combine these substances, particularly in common to heavy doses.


Alcohol is among the most used drugs

Alcohol uniquely decreases suggestibility in a dose-dependent manner.[2][3] Its usage may be directly antithetical to the pursuit of psychonautics.

Alcohol is a neurotoxin and Group 1 carcinogen.[4][5] Alcohol is a teratogen and may cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). The World Health Organization emphasizes, "there is no safe amount that does not affect health.". Alarmingly, the WHO also highlighted that nearly half of all alcohol-attributable cancers in the European Region are linked to consumption, even from "light" or "moderate" drinking.[6] Alcohol is a drug.

Alternative use of alcohols
Chemical Nomenclature
Common names Alcohol, Booze, Liquor, Moonshine[1], Sauce, Juice, Bevvy
Substitutive name Ethyl alcohol, EtOH
Systematic name Ethanol
Class Membership
Psychoactive class Depressant
Chemical class Alcohol
Routes of Administration

WARNING: Always start with lower doses due to differences between individual body weight, tolerance, metabolism, and personal sensitivity. See responsible use section.

Threshold 10 g
Light 10 - 20 g
Common 20 - 30 g
Strong 30 - 40 g
Heavy 40+ g
Total 1.5 - 5 hours
Onset 2 - 5 minutes
Come up 15 - 45 minutes
Peak 30 - 90 minutes
Offset 45 - 120 minutes
After effects 6 - 48 hours

DISCLAIMER: PW's dosage information is gathered from users and resources for educational purposes only. It is not a recommendation and should be verified with other sources for accuracy.


Substituted alcohols

Substituted alcohols, which include some depressants and euphoriants, are derivatives of ethanol. Most alcohols are significantly more potent than ethanol (e.g. 2M2B requires 20 times lower dose), which provides minimal energy intake.

Tertiary alcohols

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[7] 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.


Alcohols other than ethanol are not taxed by the federal government via excise taxes.

Polysubstance use


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

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.[8]


It is not recommended to combine stimulants and depressants. Stimulants in combination with alcohol have been proven to be particularly risky to use. This section is only added to list notable known alcohol-stimulant combinations, since they have dedicated Wikipedia articles.

Caffeinated alcohol

See also: List of caffeinated alcoholic drinks (Wikipedia)

Caffeinated alcoholic drinks combine alcohol, caffeine, and the ingredients of energy drinks into one drink. In 2010 and 2011, this type of beverage faced criticism for posing health risks to their drinkers. Alcohol and caffeine are both psychoactive drugs, drugs that are mixed are referred to as poly drug use. As a response, the US Food and Drug Administration introduced a caffeinated alcohol drinks ban.

Coca wine

Coca wine is an alcoholic beverage combining wine with cocaine. One popular brand was Vin Mariani, developed in 1863 by French-Corsican chemist and entrepreneur Angelo Mariani.[9]

Cocaine and ethanol forms cocaethylene which is more toxic than cocaine or ethanol when used separately.


A nicotini is any alcoholic drink which includes nicotine as an ingredient. Its name is modeled after the word "martini" in the fashion of such drinks as the appletini. In places which ban smoking, use of the nicotini provides those addicted to nicotine with the opportunity to manage cravings without stepping outside to smoke.

Alternative fermentation

Amylase induced fermentation

For more information, see: [2]

Saliva can be used as a source of the enzyme amylase to break down complex sugars into simple sugars. These simple sugars can then undergo fermentation by microorganisms. Amylase-induced fermented drinks are often made from cassava.

Edible mushroom fermentation

  • 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.[10]

Alcohol state of matter

  • Solid: Alcohol powder made by molecular encapsulated alcohol, usually with cyclodextrin. When reconstituted with water, alcohol (specifically ethanol) in powder form becomes an alcoholic drink. Marketed products includes Palcohol (US), Booz2go (Netherlands), Subyou (Germany).
    • 2M2B (an alcohol ~20 times more potent than ethanol) has been used in capsules.[11]
  • Liquid: This is the normal state of matter for most alcohols. A unique exception being tert-Butyl alcohol 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.

Routes of administration


Alcohol inhalation or "alcohol smoking" uses various techniques to vaporize or nebulize liquid alcohol into a gaseous state (vapor) or aerosol (mist) for inhalation. Also, alcohol powder that is molecularly encapsulated with cyclodextrin can be used with a nebulizer[12] for easier inhalation into the lungs than the ordinarily harsh vapors.

Alcohol inhalation originally emerged in 2004 with the invention of a machine called the AWOL (Alcohol without Liquid), allowing individuals to evaporate alcohol. The techniques involve using pumps or dry ice.[13]



Intravenous ethanol is short-acting and not described as being "fun", but can be extremely dangerous and even deadly, if taken in large amounts. 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[14]


Ethylene glycol or methanol poisoning are treated with fomepizole, or ethanol (that will compete with them) when fomepizole is not available.

Pharmaceutical grade ethanol (rectified spirit) diluted 5–10% in 5% dextrose is usually given intravenously as an ethylene glycol or methanol poisoning treatment.[15][16] 600-800 mg/kg ethanol from a 5–10% alcohol by volume solution is given as a loading dose over 30 minutes, followed by a maintenance doses that are increased for people with ethanol tolerance, and further increased for people who are receiving dialysis.[17]

However, sometimes ethanol is given orally in the form of distilled beverages such as whiskey, vodka, or gin for ethylene glycol or methanol poisoning treatment when no pharmaceutical ethanol solutions are available.[15] In one case, doctors saved a poisoned tourist using a vodka drip.[18]


Vodka eyeballing is the practice of consuming vodkas by pouring it into the eye sockets, where it is absorbed through the mucous membranes of the region into the bloodstream. It is a fad that started in 2010. Alcohol is only delivered in minute quantities via ocular administration, so it doesn't cause any psychoactive effect, but it can cause eye injuries.


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.

Beer bong

Occasionally a beer bong pipe is inserted rectally[19] to administer an alcohol enema.


Teens have been known to use vodka-soaked tampons to get drunk.[20]

See also


  1. Risks of Combining Depressants - TripSit 
  2. Santtila, Pekka; Ekholm, Magnus; Niemi, Pekka (1998). "Factors moderating the effects of alcohol on interrogative suggestibility". Psychology, Crime & Law. 4 (2): 139–152. doi:10.1080/10683169808401754. ISSN 1068-316X. 
  3. Santtila, Pekka; Ekholm, Magnus; Niemi, Pekka (1999). "The effects of alcohol on interrogative suggestibility: The role of State-Anxiety and mood states as mediating factors". Legal and Criminological Psychology. 4 (1): 1–13. doi:10.1348/135532599167707. ISSN 1355-3259. 
  4. Brust, J. (4 April 2010). "Ethanol and Cognition: Indirect Effects, Neurotoxicity and Neuroprotection: A Review". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 7 (4): 1540–1557. doi:10.3390/ijerph7041540. ISSN 1660-4601. Retrieved 30 May 2024. 
  5. "Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs, Volumes 1–111" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 October 2011 – via 
  6. "No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health". World Health Organization. 4 January 2023. 
  8. Groot Handboek Geneeskrachtige Planten by Geert Verhelst
  9. "Coca Wine". Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  13. Smoking Alcohol Could Lead To Overdosing
  15. 15.0 15.1 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. 
  16. 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 1306022Freely accessible. 
  18. "Poisoned tourist saved with vodka drip". NBC News. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  19. Lovett, Edward; McNiff, Eamon (2012-09-21). "5 Shocking Ways Your Kids Try to Get Drunk". ABC News. Retrieved 2019-12-23.