Vodka Tampons And Eyeball Shots: 5 Dumb/Dangerous Trends In Substance Abuse

Every year (usually between Halloween and the holidays), newspapers and websites like to trod out scary stories about really unsafe and stupid things that college students will do to get a buzz on. From snorting household spices to self-prescribing alcohol-soaked suppositories, tales of the supposed popularity of these  kinds of extreme substance abuse methods almost always hit the internet around Thanksgiving–just in time for kids to come home and parents to be concerned.

But it’s not just scare tactics for overly-concerned parents. These fads or trends wouldn’t be making headlines if kids didn’t continue to put themselves (and their dignity, because really, these are embarrassing) at risk by trying them. They’re dangerous, they’re dumb, and they truly demonstrate a lack of good judgement. Here are some of the most popular (and most popular to report on) freaky behaviors in the last few years. Will you be talking about them around your Thanksgiving table?

All images from Shutterstock. Above by  Kzenon

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    • MM

      “These fads or trends wouldn’t be making headlines if kids didn’t continue to put themselves (and their dignity, because really, these are embarrassing) at risk by trying them.”

      Uh, yeah, they would. Have you heard of jenkem or rainbow parties? Both of those were all over the news, and there was no evidence that either ever actually occurred. There’s nothing the media loves better than a scandalous story about teens, no matter how dubious.

      It hasn’t been that long since I was a teen myself (I’m 21) and I doubt many, if any at all, teens are trying these things. Teens are pretty concerned about looking cool, and shoving a soggy tampon up your ass doesn’t exactly fit the bill.

      • Hanna Brooks Olsen

        Jenken actually is pretty popular in third world countries (mostly Africa), which is extremely tragic–but no, it never really picked up steam in America because it’s gross. And rainbow parties definitely were a thing–or at least they were where I grew up.

        Sure, there are plenty of scare campaigns that get stirred up, so as a young person as well, “plugging” and vodka tampons are more than an urban myth–ask an ER nurse if he/she’s ever seen it, and they probably have.

      • MM

        http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/jenkem.asp
        http://www.erowid.org/ask/ask.php?ID=3113

        Jenkem use comes from one article about kids in Zambia. No reporters saw anyone huffing sewage and there have been no other reports of it…I don’t really think this is enough to say that it is ‘pretty popular’. Nobody even knows if it works.

        If rainbow parties were ‘a thing’ where you grew up, you have plenty of fodder for a new article. I always heard people talking about them, too, but I never heard of anyone who had actually been to one. It certain seems a little difficult to pull off.

        ‘Ask an ER nurse’, really? I’m not going to say that nobody has tried this, because people in general do some pretty dumb shit. But to the point of a ‘substance abuse trend’? No fucking way. Inserting a soggy tampon would be a pain, getting vodka on your lady parts would sting like hell, and it hardly has the badass cachet of “wooo I did 8 shots last night!!”

        Sorry, but I am unconvinced by this article and I find the whole media tendency to blow up DANGEROUS NEW TEEN TRENDS harmful on the whole. It makes teenagers think that adults are all incredibly dense, and gives them no reason to believe us. Meanwhile many of them are engaging in dangerous behaviors…like binge-drinking the old fashioned way.

      • MM

        There was one, single article that described kids in Zambia who said they did jenkem. I really don’t think that’s enough to extrapolate it to being “pretty popular in 3rd world countries.” And I have never seen compelling evidence for rainbow parties. They may have happened in your town – maybe you should write about that – but I doubt they are common since they seem unnecessarily elaborate and difficult. So do vodka-soaked tampons.

        The thing is, lots of teenagers are doing dumb shit. But the media likes to focus on the RIDICULOUS shit that few if any are doing, and it’s harmful because it makes teens think that all adults are morons. Teens don’t need vodka tampons or rainbow parties to experiment with sex and alcohol – they’re already doing it just fine the old fashioned way.

    • Corrinne

      Sorry, but there’s not a lot of support for people doing the tampon, eye, or nutmeg things. Sure, I bet a few people have tried it. But most people know nutmeg is a DUMB idea. And the other two are likely blown way the hell out of proportion after one person tried it. It some cases it’s never even happened.

      I work with teenage boys in a placement home and am a sober addict myself. Now, people do put drugs in their behinds, it’s called “plugging” but even that is not very common. Alcohol is probably even less so because it’s just more of a hassle. With drugs, people are usually snorting, smoking, or injecting them anyway, so the rate that it is absorbed is much different (as opposed to alcohol that goes through your digestive system). But yes, plugging alcohol would be a stupid, stupid idea.

      The one right one is K2. The kids I see with substance abuse problems have all done it.

    • medical accident

      Its really a very bad to have excessive drink, the people must avoid to have too much addiction so that they could be in control. It would also be in their benefit.
      medical accident

    • Fredrick M(http://www.genamlier.com)

      Today’s people do put drugs in their behinds, it’s called “plugging” but even that is not very common. Alcohol is probably even less so because it’s just more of a hassle

    • Lena Rakijian

      Whether it’s a majority or a minority of adolescents using these alternative ways of “getting high” – who cares? The fact is that if someone is desperate enough to choose these methods to self medicate or get drunk or get high then chances are they are using more conventional methods as well and are putting themselves and potentially others in danger.

    • Rita

      I was under the impression that spice is illegal. Or it is here in NC anyways.. Cigarette and smoke shops used to carry spice and bathsalts. Both of which are pretty lame and unhealthy. Just made it illegal within the past year. Places are still getting raided for selling it on the low. I made a horrible mistake and accidentally injested the chemical they use to make spice. Definitely in the top 5 of the worst nights of my life.

      • Hanna Brooks Olsen

        Unfortunately, spice is illegal in a lot of states, but the chemists who make the stuff can change the chemicals ever-so-slightly…which makes it different enough to no longer be criminalized. Isn’t that awful?