HOUSTON—A Houston-area therapist says teens are always looking for creative ways to get a cheap buzz, and the latest growing trend involves tampons and gummy bears.
“We heard about vodka-soaked tampons probably 3 to 4 years ago. One day we got a phone call that there were kids using it," said Angie Garza with the Prevention and Resource Center.
Garza studies drug and alcohol use among teenagers and says while the trend is not new, it is picking up steam.
“More often than not, it’s happening in a lot of the Houston area,” she said. “It’s just easy for them to use, and nobody is suspicious of them using it.
By soaking tampons in vodka and inserting them the alcohol is absorbed directly into the blood stream and it puts a person at an even higher risk of getting alcohol poisoning.
“You drink the alcohol, your body starts gagging. When you insert vaginally, your body doesn’t have that protector,” she said.
Garza said while vodka tampons are still a very real danger, there is another emerging trend that has teens inconspicuously getting drunk at school.
Those teens are soaking gummy bears in vodka to turn the candy into an alcoholic treat.
“The gummy bear absorbs the alcohol, becomes a little more plump, nobody can detect it has alcohol in it,” Garza said.
Therapist Tony Aucoin said teens are always looking for thrills.
“Our brains aren’t fully developed when we are under 25. We are going to take lots of risks, and we get a rush out of that,” he said.
Both Aucoin and Garza said what is viewed as thrill-seeking behavior can lead to addiction and other dangerous behavior. They hope making schools and parents aware of the practice will be a way to stop it.