Dr Oz: Palcahol, Alcohol In Powdered Form
Dr Oz revealed a package of powder called Palcahol that promises to turn water into alcohol. It’s approved for sale starting this summer. Powdered alcohol is creating quite a buzz and critics called it “risky” and “an accident waiting to happen.” It was created for adults, but there’s worry that it could reach kids and be used for snorting or even injecting. Not to mention concerns over the product being snuck into venues where it’s banned.
Several states, including Alaska, Louisiana, New York, and Oklahoma, have banned powdered alcohol, and others are considering it. Liquid alcohol is the most abused drug in the U.S. and there’s a good chance powdered alcohol could be next.
Dr Oz: What Is Powdered Alcohol?
Dr Oz welcomed the creator of Palcohol, Mark Phillips, who explained that he created the product because he was enjoying outdoor activities where he thought it would be fun to bring alcohol along. He said once the public found out about the product, he had medical professionals calling him saying they would love to use it as a powdered antiseptic for doctors going into remote locations. Dr Oz said he can see the side benefits, but really it seems like just a way to give regular alcohol a convenience factor.
Dr Oz: How Powdered Alcohol Works + Versions
Mark explained it’s not available until summer, but showed off a sample packet. The ideal packet will be four inches by six inches in size and contain the powder. Mark then poured water into the packet, explaining that he was actually making water and vodka. He said typically you would add a mixer to the powder, whether it’s orange juice or soda, to give it the effect you’re looking for. If you only added water, you would be tasting water and vodka only. It’s basically a mixed drink.
He then instructed that you shake the packet for about 30 seconds, before opening it and enjoying it. Dr Oz tasted the sample packet which would, as said before, be a simple vodka water, and Dr Oz said he could certainly taste the vodka. Dr Oz was curious as to why it was never done before. Mark said there are four approved versions at the moment, which are powdered vodka, powdered rum, powdered cosmopolitan, and “powderita,” which is like a margarita in powdered form. He said lemon drop should be coming soon.
Dr Oz: Powdered Alcohol Explanation
For the cocktail version, the cosmopolitan, and the “powderita,” you only have to add water and you have the drink. To clear up some confusion, basically what Mark explained is that you should think of the powder as the ready-made alcohol to add to a mixer. You don’t have to add water to make it turn into alcohol. He just used the water as a demonstration. Dr Oz’s “water into alcohol” explanation, may have made that a bit confusing for people. The powder is meant to be added to a juice or soda in order to make a mixed beverage. If you only add water, it’s the same as adding water to liquid alcohol.
Dr Oz: Concerns Over Powdered Alcohol
Mark explained that the packets are about 80 calories each, to which Dr Oz said, “So far, so good.” Dr Oz then talked to Dr Yael Varnado, a women’s health expert, who explained that people have been trying to make powdered or crystallized alcohol since the 1970s. From a medical perspective, she’s concerned about the ways people may abuse or misuse powdered alcohol. She said there’s more than just dehydrated alcohol in Palcohol. The FDA has even said that when they reviewed the product, they didn’t do any testing on it, but they do know there are other compounds in the product that can be found in processed foods. If you want to live cleanly, you could be concerned about some of those additives, especially not knowing their long-term effects.
Mark said states are banning his product “because they’re ignorant about the product.” He said the FDA looked at it and it’s very safe. He also said there’s nothing unsafe about the product, and they’re only banning it because they don’t understand it. He also pointed out that liquid alcohol has been abused and still is, but yet no one is calling for a ban on that. He said that by banning powdered alcohol, it creates a heightened demand for it, because “we want what we can’t have.”
Mark said more people drank during Prohibition than they did before it, and more people abused alcohol during Prohibition than they did before it. He said to protect the underage drinkers from getting a hold of alcohol, it should be regulated, because by banning it, you lose regulation.
Dr Oz: Can Powdered Alcohol Be Snorted?
Dr Oz talked to a police officer who wanted to know if powdered alcohol could be snorted or broken down. If so, could the alcohol be detected on someone’s breath? Mark said any powder can be snorted, but it would take you an hour to snort all the powder that equals one drink. Dr Varnado said it’s absolutely possible that kids will experiment and try to snort the product. She wanted to know what kind of research has been done, and Mark said the FDA knows exactly what’s in it, because it’s a requirement. He, as well as the FDA, have said there is nothing dangerous in the product.
Dr Oz, to answer the officer’s question, said kids could snort it, but they probably won’t. They’re more likely to abuse it in other ways.
Dr Oz: Sneaking In Powdered Alcohol
One mother was concerned about the product because she feels like it’s appealing to kids. Mark explained that he doesn’t have kids but he used to be a first-grade teacher. As far as sneaking the product into places, he showed what a package containing an ounce of liquid alcohol looked like compared to a shot of his powdered alcohol, to prove that it’s much easier to sneak in liquid alcohol than powdered.
He said it’s not more appealing to kids because it costs four times more than liquid alcohol and “the flavors are not sweet.” He said kids want cheap alcohol to get drunk, so they’re not going to want to pay the price. But, Mark pointed out, parents still need to keep a close eye on their kids.
Dr Oz: Could Powdered Alcohol Lead To Binge Drinking?
A teacher in the audience wanted to know if powdered alcohol would be more potent than liquid alcohol, possibly leading to binge drinking. Mark said they couldn’t control behavior, which is why education is so important. He truly believes his product is not any more dangerous than liquid alcohol. He said it’s easier to get drunk of liquid alcohol, rather than powdered alcohol.
There’s obviously a lot of concern over the unknown, so what do you think? Are you supportive of powdered alcohol or do you think it’s just a mess waiting to happen?