It would appear that nobody wants to use their mouth anymore to get drunk.
Much to their parents' dismay, teens have long been known to secretly consume alcohol, and the latest method reportedly has them doing so with tampons and bongs.
"[It's a] quicker high, they think it's going to last longer, it's more intense," Dr. Dan Quan from Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix told KPHO News.
Vodka tampons are exactly what they sound like. Teens supposedly soak a tampon in alcohol and consume it by either taking as shots or inserting the tampons in their rectums or vaginas, KPHO reported. This way, alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the membrane walls. In fact, Dr. Lisa Masterson, co-host of "The Doctors," says this method will "literally destroy the vagina."
Accounts of soaking tampons in alcohol have circulated for years and some believe the practice may be nothing more than an urban myth. According to the International Business Times:
Skeptics are questioning the legitimacy of claims that teenagers are using unpleasant-sounding methods of getting drunk faster -- largely because the Legend of the Vodka Tampon is a more than a decade old, and because news stories on the topic have not cited any firsthand accounts of the phenomenon at work.
UPDATE: Other sites have called KPHO's story into question, saying the practice remains unverified despite multiple reports of incidents in the U.S. and elsewhere. One blogger conducted her own informal trial to see whether the purported method worked, with unfavourable results.
But KPHO News reports there have been some cases of alcohol poisoning after utilizing these methods. In addition to using tampons, the broadcast also stated that teens are taking part in "butt chugging" where alcohol is consumed rectally with a beer bong or beer funnel. "Butt chugging" seems to be done to avoid having alcohol breath.
These reports, however, are nothing new. Last month, we told you about another emerging case that had teens soaking candy, specifically gummy bears and worms, into vodka and consuming them.
And it doesn't stop there. In 2010, "vodka eyeballing" was a growing trend among British university students, the Daily Mail reported. Some even posted videos on YouTube demonstrating the process. Vodka snorting was another alternative consumption method bar owners were seeing among university students in the U.K., according to BBC News.
"People were 'in tears' after trying [vodka snorting] while others reacted so quickly they were seen falling to the floor as a result of snorting the alcohol," bar owners told BBC News.
Speaking with teens in a honest and respectful matter is a productive way to broach the topic, substance abuse counsellor and Huffington Post blogger Carole Bennett says.
As parents, communication is key to not only to help your child but not to be fooled yourself. "Just keep your 'poop detector' up as you don't want to be played for a chump if they use your good nature and open heart as a ploy in getting a pass for more reckless or out of control behaviour," Bennett says.
Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada, gives us his tips on talking to kids about alcohol.
If you had alcohol or drugs in your past, you may want to consider telling your kids about it, Murie says. A 2008 survey of more than 6,000 American teenagers found that they were 50 per cent less likely to use drugs if they had "learned a lot" about them from their parents.
"It starts with the parents themselves and their own consumption of drinking alcohol. It's the kind of mentoring they are showing," Murie says.
"It's unacceptable to allow kids to consume alcohol in front of you," Murie says. Parents need to work with their kids to control alcohol use -- especially alcohol abuse involving young people.
Parents should always be accessible to their children, Murie says. "Work with your teens to give them alternatives if they do get into a [uncomfortable] situation. They need a phone or a prepaid taxi cab card if possible," he says.
Even if a party isn't happening at your home, parents should still be able to take control, Murie says. "[It's about understanding the risks and [the fact] that alcohol is alcohol. One shot or glass of wine, it doesn't matter." Murie also says that if your kids do attend a house party, parents should call the host parent beforehand to find out if alcohol will be in the household -- especially if kids are underage.