When some individuals don’t have access to ethyl alcohol, or products like wine or beer, it’s possible for them to use other alternatives to get drunk. Some of these alternatives, while their effects may feel pleasant for a moment, can be extremely dangerous to consume in any way. Rubbing alcohol, for example, can pose serious risks for individuals who drink it.

Can You Get Drunk Off Rubbing Alcohol?

Yes, you can get drunk off rubbing alcohol. In fact, it can get pretty intense and will happen rather quickly. If someone drinks even less than an ounce of isopropyl, they will likely feel the effects in 30 to 60 minutes. Even though it can definitely make someone drunk, rubbing alcohol will cause potentially fatal complications.

Rubbing Alcohol: What’s In It?

In most cases, people drink rubbing alcohol and related products because they’re easy to find. Rubbing alcohol consists of a substance called isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl can also be found in other everyday products like mouthwash, perfume, nail polish remover, and cleaning supplies.

Even though isopropyl alcohol is found in common items that are found around the house, it will require immediate medical attention if consumed. It is much more toxic than ethyl alcohol, or alcohol that is designed for drinking, even when consumed in very small amounts. Most people who drink rubbing alcohol know that it is not recommended, but they may not know all of the dangers that may come with consuming high volumes of isopropyl alcohol.

Risks of Drinking Rubbing Alcohol

Since the body absorbs rubbing alcohol rapidly, this substance can cause toxic effects very quickly. These effects can cause intense bodily damage and may, in some cases, be fatal. Here are some of the serious side effects of consuming rubbing alcohol or isopropyl:

  • Vomiting
  • Small pupils
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Throat pain
  • Red skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Decreased coordination
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low body temperature

In some cases, drinking rubbing alcohol could even cause loss of consciousness, coma, or even death. If you witness someone experiencing any of the symptoms above, please seek emergency medical services for them as soon as possible. A poison control specialist should be able to help remove the substance and treat the issue if it is brought to them in time.

Preventing Rubbing Alcohol Consumption

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent people from consuming rubbing alcohol in the interest of getting drunk. However, we can inform ourselves and our loved ones of the risks. We can also help to identify the reasons that someone may choose to consume rubbing alcohol. Individuals with alcohol addictions, for instance, are more likely to drink rubbing alcohol because they can’t find any other substance to consume. If someone drinks rubbing alcohol because of an addiction, there are many treatment options to help these individuals decrease their dependence and develop more positive habits & behaviors. Treatment options for alcohol addiction may include medication, one-on-one therapy, support groups, and more.

Drinking rubbing alcohol is never worth the risk that it may provide. It may even cost you your life. Those who have consumed rubbing alcohol or any product with isopropyl alcohol should receive rehabilitation in addition to immediate medical attention. For more information about your options after consuming rubbing alcohol, contact our team of substance abuse treatment specialists by calling (866) 971-5531.

Jump to a Section

Call (855) 425-4846