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iVillage: 10 Dangerous Teen Fads You Should Know About

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Drinking Hand Sanitizer

Many germophobes are addicted to hand sanitizer every time they shake hands, sneeze or touch a subway pole, but some teens looking for a cheap high are using it in a highly disturbing new way. Kids are actually getting drunk off the over-the-counter cleanser, according to the Los Angeles Times -- most formulas contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol, and using salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer yields a potent 120-proof shot. After a few drinks, a person might be so drunk that medical intervention is necessary, as was the case with six teenagers with alcohol poising who checked into the emergency room at two hospitals in San Fernando Valley, CA. Although it's currently a small problem, health officials worry the behavior might indicate a more widespread, dangerous trend, as teens have been known to use other household items like mouthwash or cough syrup to produce a buzz. If parents buy hand sanitizer, experts advise using the foam version (versus the gel type) because it's harder to extract the alcohol.

(CREDIT: J Coolidge/Digital Vision/Getty Images)
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