Police concerned about powdered alcohol

Police concerned about powdered alcohol
Major Bill Berry
Major Bill Berry

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Dougherty Drug Unit agents are worried about powdered alcohol, a new product they want you to know about. It's called Palcohol by the company creating it, though it has not been approved for sale.

At least five states have banned it, but Palcohol makers say that's because of ignorance.

A company called Lipsmark expects it to be available this spring. But Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Agents have concerns, because young people are already talking about it.

Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Commander Major Bill Berry said "We do a lot of alcohol sting operations to make sure our young people are having a hard time buying alcohol. Now that this is something you might can order almost anywhere, the concern increases."

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a part of the Treasury department, gave label approval in April but then rescinded that approval, saying it was an error.

Mark Phillips created the product, which he says you mix with water to make a rum or vodka drink. "Palcohol is not some super concentrated version of alcohol. It's simply one shot of alcohol in powered form," he said.

Drug agents say they have concerns that this is just a product made to sneak alcohol into events that could be misused by young people.

Berry said "Somebody be stupid enough to miss this Palcohol with alcohol. And you would have a double dose or triple dose, depending on what you are mixing it with. And it could be extremely dangerous."

Opponents also worry people may snort the powder. Phillips said "Snorting it is very painful. It burns, a lot."

Berry has concerns about spiking drinks with the powder.  "They could take it out of it's original packages, and put it into anything."

ADDU officials say they are learning more about powdered alcohol.

The Palcohol makers say banning the product would only create a black market that could not be controlled.

Phillips said he created Palcohol because he is active, and wanted to be able to transport cocktails easily for events like camping. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York called for Palcohol to be banned, saying it could become the "Koolaid" of teenage binge drinking.

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