Vice Squad
Monday, December 03, 2007
Hand Rub as a Beverage Alcohol Surrogate

Back in May Vice Squad noted the frequency with which surrogates -- substances containing alcohol but not intended for ingestion -- are consumed in Russia. On Friday the BBC reported that alcohol-based hand rubs, placed near patient beds in hospitals to help fight against the spread of germs, have become a surrogate in NHS facilities. Sometimes the rubs are drunk by confused patients, but some ingestions are motivated by alcohol cravings. As terrible as the hand rub consumption sounds, at least it is unlikely to lead to one possible, dire health hazard of binge drinking, as reported by the BBC earlier in November.

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