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Water beads: the new way to booze?

cedargrove
Are water beads the new way for young people to booze it up? (Image courtesy Amazon.com)

We don't know if it's a trend yet, but there's some potentially troubling news on the teen excessive drinking front.

Luke's getting word from his daughter at Western Washington University some students (not her) are turning to liquid absorbing "water beads" to quickly ingest copious amounts of booze.

The beads are synthetic polymers that can absorb up to 100 times their size in liquid to form glass-like pearls. They've become popular in place of water for plants and flowers, slowly releasing water over time.

But now students are reportedly soaking them in alcohol instead to make little booze marbles of sorts.

"The problem there is apparently they're much easier to swallow, you can get more of them down," says Luke.

It's far more dangerous than just taking shots. As the beads release the alcohol, it can easily bypass the body's natural defenses.

"If you're doing shots, there's a point at which you will try to do one and your body will have a gag reflext. Your body is trying to say 'let's stay alive, let's not have this alcohol go in our system because we know this is no longer okay,'" Luke says.

There haven't been any widespread reports of water bead abuse or poisoning, but it certainly speaks to young people's ever present quest to come up with new ways to get drunk.

"If these kids would apply even a tiny bit of this creativity that they seem to have about how to consume alcohol to their studies and curing cancer, I think everything would get fixed immediately," Luke says.

Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com Reporter
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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