*This post by Gabe Gilker originally appeared on Vice.
I love alcohol. Our society loves alcohol. It wouldn't be too far off to say that we pretty much thrive on it. It's a staple in most people's lives, whether it's a quick drink after work for happy hour, or a Saturday night bender where you know you're going to wake up Sunday morning hating yourself. We can't seem to get enough of it. But what happens when you get tired of getting drunk by oral consumption? You branch out and find try the newest frontiers of how to get messed up, of course!
The other day I was perusing my Facebook feed when an article about "smoking alcohol" grabbed my attention. I read on, and within the first few lines I said "F*** yeah, I'm so doing this." The article went on about all the hazards involved and even included a list of dangers that the inhalation of alcohol can cause, but I didn't care, because it claimed that huffing booze vapor does not give you a hangover. My dream had come true.
And let's face it, the worst part of drinking alcohol isn't the painful shame of over-indulging and making an ass out of yourself, or drinking yourself sick, it's the actual drinking part. It's 2013 and everyone knows that lifting a glass to your mouth and letting gravity push liquid into your stomach is for conventional people.
There are two ways to smoke alcohol. The first is to pour it over dry ice and inhale the fumes with a straw -- a new-wave freebase, if you ask me. If you don't have access to dry ice, you can also attach a bike pump to a cork and pressurize the hell out of your alcoholic beverage to smoke it back. It looks like a sink-toke, an alcoholic sink-toke.
Before we go any further, you probably should be aware that smoking alcohol is by and large a dumb idea for the following reasons:
- Alcohol is poisonous to your lungs
- It's bad for your nasal passages
- You can get alcohol-poisoning super easily because you can't throw up the excess booze on account of the fact that it's been directly vaporized into your bloodstream
- You can't measure your actual intake because even though the alcohol is gone there's still liquid in the bottle and unless you're a crazy scientist you can't tell how much was actually vaporized
- Do not try this if you're asthmatic or have a lung infection. Because it will make it worse.
On the bright side, here are a few of the so-called "positive effects" that come from smoking alcohol --according to me. There are no calories and no carbs, so if you're on a diet you can still get drunk and not worry about putting on pounds. People who do it for this reason have been called "drunkorexic" by doctors and haters alike. Also I think I'd like to say it again, no hangovers. But that's really about it. Otherwise this activity might kill you.
I found a pretty helpful thread on a drug forum I frequent often to get more information from people who have done this before, and found out there are a few machines you can buy which vaporize the alcohol for you, but I did not want to wait for the shipping because I was super jazzed to hoover some booze fumes. So I found a set of D.I.Y. instructions from a very nice drug forum poster, located in Russia, and set to work on acquiring the parts needed to make my own pressurizer.
I started putting together all the pieces with a friend, and after a few trials, perfected the art of making my own alcohol vaporizer. Our cork wasn't thick enough, so we had to wrap it with some painter's tape to make sure it would be airtight. During the first trial run we didn't pump the bottle enough, so I pretty much just inhaled the taste of gin and was dissatisfied while everyone looked at me with wide-eyed curiosity. It didn't do anything.
Once we cut the cork smaller the needle of the bike pump stuck out of the bottom and the magic started happening. After our first really successful vaporize session the cork came flying out from the pressure of the bottle and it filled up with a fog-like substance. We had a round of high fives and cheered "F*** YEAH SCIENCE!" as we all sucked the vapor out.
We kept pumping and after two or three hits I started feeling "tipsy," which basically means my brain started to feel fuzzy while a dumb smile slowly stretched across my face. It felt more like smoking weed because the drunkenness felt very mellow and smooth. Every time we'd pump up another bottle we would get stoked and super hyper, anticipating to get shitfaced, but that was toned down from all the energy we were expending on the bike pump. All of us broke a sweat from using it to pressurize the bottle. It's a workout to get wasted like this.
The first hour or so was pretty fun. We were all smiles and giggles, but that was probably more from the novelty of the whole situation than the alcoholic vapor to be honest. We all took turns pumping, inhaling, smoking cigarettes, and laughing. It was a pretty good time in the beginning. Over the night we tried gin, vodka, whiskey, and beer. Then we mixed all of the hard liquor together and made a smorgasbord of booze to vape into our bodies.
In the end, all I felt was really mellow and extremely nauseous. I ate some stale french fries and that kept the nausea at bay for a bit but it was a constant nagging in my stomach. It was really annoying. I kept feeling like I drank too much and wanted to puke, but my mind was feeling like I had smoked weed and was chilling out. There was a disconnect between my body and my mind that made me feel super awkward. All of a sudden I didn't know how to properly engage in social conversation, which is messed up because I'm usually the loudest person in a room. We kept on smoking booze because we didn't feel drunk, and thought that maybe if we smoked more that it would make it all better. But we were so very wrong.
After a while, it just felt like we were smoking booze to fulfill some kind of imaginary obligation we had all invented in our own minds. It was like crack. There was so much hype and expectation built up from all the articles and YouTube videos I read and saw, that the act of actually vaporizing booze shattered my expectations. I felt like a real big piece of shit afterwards. The only real good thing to come out of this was, after one big toke of gin, my right ear, which I somehow messed up on St. Patricks Day, finally un-popped. I could hear again from that side of my head. That was a bit confusing given I had been half deaf for nearly four months -- so maybe smoking booze is a cure for plugged ears?
As the night wore on everyone got disinterested with smoking alcohol and started a late night jam session, while I sat on a chair wishing I was still deaf. Battling the nausea in my tummy was getting really old. I felt like I was dying. My roommate noticed something was off as I sat quietly, and she asked me if I was okay. I gave her an honest answer: "I feel like my lungs are bleeding."
This wasn't as hyberbolic of a comment as it may sound to you, as I just got over a lung infection two weeks previous to creating my own booze vaporizing machine (yes, not the best idea, I'll admit). I decided to carry on anyway because my lungs are already so messed up that I was positive a little more wear and tear wouldn't damage them any more than a usual night of drinking. But now I realize that was silly so, if you have shitty lungs, don't do this. In fact, even if you're the healthiest person in the world, don't do this. It's insanely dumb.
As the night came to a close, I tried in vain to fall asleep. I tossed and turned in my bed and couldn't get comfortable for the life of me. I started to get irritated and noticed every small movement and sound around me. I felt like I was coming down off speed or something even though I hadn't even gotten more than a slight buzz from the all the alcohol I smoked. Finally I was certain I was going to puke, so I ran down stairs and dry heaved over my toilet for about two minutes before realizing I had nothing in my stomach to puke up. As I came to terms with the fact that I was probably going to die from alcohol poisoning, I listened to the trains pass by outside my house. I made a vow to myself that if I survived the night I would never consume alcohol in any other way than God intended, which is orally.
So again, in case it's not already clear, I do not recommend smoking alcohol and I do not condone its consumption in any other way but orally. Don't be an idiot. It's not even that fun. It's all the worst parts of being drunk, with absolutely none of the fun, and an added dose of nauseous insomnia. Screw you, booze smoke. We're through.
More "fun" with substance abuse: