What is Powdered Alcohol and How is it Abused?

For the first time in the history of the United States, powdered alcohol products are now on sale. The goal is to mix the powder into water which makes it seem almost like a protein shake, but with alcohol. A real concern is raised about how the alcohol will be used, including whether people will snort the substance. Many states are moving to ban the manufacturing, import and sale of this drug. Learn more about what it is and how it may be abused.

Powdered Alcohol

The substance is produced when alcohol is absorbed by a sugar derivative called dextrin and later is put through an encapsulation process. The mechanism is simple, since certain sugar derivatives can be used to trap ethanol and create powder. When the powder is stored in well-sealed containers, it can stay in that state until it is mixed with water or other liquid. Dextrin can hold up to 60$ of its own weight in alcohol.


Powdered alcohol made news when it went on sale in Europe. The fact it is marketed and geared towards teens is remarkable in that is is approved but worries continue about its use for young people. It comes in flavors that are appealing to underage populations and, with easily concealable packaging, doesn’t make parents feel comfortable.


Government officials and public health experts have been quick to point out the potential for risks associated with the use of powdered alcohol. Here are some examples:

  • Encapsulation does not prevent people from breaking the capsule to use the powder in unintentional ways
  • Powdered alcohol products may be snorted, combined with other products containing alcohol or given to a person not aware of what’s ingested
  • Consumers may combine several packages together or mix it with energy drinks which risks overuse and creating dangerous side effects
  • Youth may find it easy to combine packages of the powdered drink


Manufacturers warn against nasal snorting of products but the reality is it can and is being done. Snorting powdered alcohol can lead to many risk side effects due to absorption rates. Many people still want to experiment with new ways to get a high from the drug so it is likely that people will try snorting just to see what effect it has, ignoring possible side effects.

Learning to understand addiction is one way to combat the ways it takes over a person’s life. Call The Villa to find ways of fighting back against addiction that will be beneficial for years to come.