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Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer May Derail A Successful Alcohol Rehab

Your spouse has just returned from alcohol rehab and is excited to start a new life away from the damage of their past addiction. However, there may be a danger lurking in your home that could cause a relapse: alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Here's what you need to know about this strange new problem.

Drinking Hand Sanitizer Is A Real Problem

Alcohol-based hand santizers have become a popular way for underage children to access alcohol. While most of these sanitizers taste quite bad, determined teens (and even an innocent 6-year-old who thought her sanitizer tasted like strawberry) have been ingesting hand sanitizer and getting incredibly drunk off of it.

In fact, the alcohol content of many hand sanitizers is as high as 60 to 65 percent, which is equivalent or even higher than many alcoholic drinks. For a person who just got out of rehab, the smell of the alcohol in hand sanitizer could serve as a relapse trigger. And if they are suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms, they may be compelled to drink some.

Why It's Dangerous For People In Recovery

Beyond the dangers of your loved one suffering from relapse is the risk of poisoning that comes from ingesting hand sanitizer. The high concentration of alcohol previously mentioned makes it surprisingly potent.

If your loved one is desperate for a drink and tries ingesting some hand sanitizer, they may do nothing more than cause alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can cause a wide range of problems, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Low body temperature
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart issues
  • Seizures
  • Death

Keeping Hand Sanitizers Out Of Your Home

Before your loved one arrives home from rehab, go around the house and collect all your alcohol-based hand sanitizers. You can either throw them away, give them to a friend, or donate them to a charitable cause. When washing your hands, use hot water and soap, rather than hand sanitizer throughout the day.

If you still want to use hand sanitizer in your home, there are foam-based alcohol-free variants that are effective at eliminating germs on hands and other parts of the body. Removing alcohol-based sanitizers will help your loved one more effectively fight the urge to fall back into a problematic drinking pattern.

Consistency and love are your major tools for helping a loved one fight their alcohol addiction. Removing alcohol-based hand sanitizers is a great first step in ensuring that their rehab remains successful for life. Learn more about the dangers of alcohol relapse by checking out this blog.