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Can You Drink Rubbing Alcohol?

open palms holding "yes" and "no" on sticky notes, begging the question "can you drink rubbing alcohol"?
open palms holding "yes" and "no" on sticky notes, begging the question "can you drink rubbing alcohol"?

What’s Inside:

  • Addressing critical inquiries about the safety and consequences of consuming rubbing alcohol.
  • Outlining the severe health risks and potentially fatal outcomes of ingesting rubbing alcohol.
  • Providing guidance on seeking help for alcohol misuse and addiction recovery.

Rubbing alcohol, commonly used as a household disinfectant and cleaning solution, is known for its powerful sterilizing properties. Let’s answer essential questions about the potential use of rubbing alcohol for consumption, especially among individuals facing substance addiction challenges, clarifying the significant health risks associated.

Can You Drink Rubbing Alcohol?

Absolutely not. Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, is manufactured specifically for external use and not for human consumption. Its chemical structure and additives make it poisonous when ingested. Unlike ethanol—the alcohol type found in consumable alcoholic beverages such as beers, wines, and liquors—isopropyl alcohol is metabolized by the liver into acetone, a toxic compound that can cause systemic body damage. Drinking even a small quantity can result in critical symptoms, including severe gastrointestinal distress, depressed central nervous system function, and can be fatal in relatively small doses.

Can You Drink Rubbing Alcohol to Get Drunk? 

While rubbing alcohol does contain a high percentage of alcohol, typically around 70% to 90%, which is much higher than most alcoholic beverages, it is dangerous and potentially deadly to consume for the purpose of intoxication. The intoxicating effects of isopropyl alcohol are not the same as those of ethanol. Initial symptoms might include euphoria and disorientation, but these quickly escalate to serious health threats like severe abdominal pain, vomiting blood, hypothermia, unconsciousness, and even respiratory failure. The risk of poisoning and death from drinking rubbing alcohol far outweighs any potential for intoxication.

Can Rubbing Alcohol be Harmful?

Rubbing alcohol is extremely harmful if ingested, due to its potent toxicity. Ingesting isopropyl alcohol can lead to immediate poisoning. Early symptoms of poisoning include headache, dizziness, and confusion, which can quickly progress to more severe issues such as difficulty breathing, slowed heart rate, and coma. Chronic exposure or ingestion can also cause long-term health problems, including irreversible liver and kidney damage, blindness from optic nerve damage, and severe neurological deficits.

The Dangers of Misusing Rubbing Alcohol

Misuse of rubbing alcohol as a substitute for standard alcoholic beverages is particularly dangerous among individuals with severe alcohol dependency or those in recovery. Such use reflects extreme measures to achieve intoxication, indicative of a serious substance abuse problem that requires immediate medical and psychological intervention.

The ingestion of rubbing alcohol poses severe health risks, including potential death, and under no circumstances should it be consumed. Understanding these risks is crucial, especially for individuals struggling with substance use disorders or those contemplating dangerous methods to achieve intoxication.

If you or someone you know is considering drinking rubbing alcohol or struggling with addiction to other substances, immediate help is needed. Contact Uplift Recovery at 866-979-5848 for support. Our dedicated team provides comprehensive treatment options that address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. There are effective, safe treatments available that can support long-term recovery and health. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help today; choosing to get help is the first step towards recovery.

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