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J Stud Alcohol. 1985 Nov;46(6):473-81.

Alcoholics who drink mouthwash: the spectrum of nonbeverage alcohol use.


Nonbeverage alcohol (NBA), or substitutes for traditional forms of beverage alcohol, includes such substances as mouthwash, aftershave lotion and alcohol-based fuels. Literature pertaining to the prevalence, clinical significance and toxicity of this practice is reviewed, using illustrative cases from a series of 48 NBA consumers. It was found that 10-15% of alcoholics hospitalized in detoxication units have consumed NBA; half of these patients are regular consumers. Addiction to NBA itself may occur. Its use is primarily related to easy accessibility, rather than social or monetary factors. Polydrug misuse and antisocial personality disorder are more frequent in NBA users, but use is not pathognomic of end-stage alcoholism. The 48 NBA users reported surprisingly few toxic symptoms from acute ingestion, perhaps because tolerance to some substances in NBA may occur. Isopropyl alcohol was the exception, reproducibly causing symptoms suggestive of severe gastritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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