The Dangers Of Drinking Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol

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Dangers Of Drinking Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol_


For many people, it may be hard to understand why anyone would drink something we use to sterilize wounds. If you heard someone you know had drank isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, you might think it was a mistake. While small children might drink isopropyl alcohol by accident, mistaking it for water, some youth and even adults drink it as a replacement for alcohol.

But isopropyl alcohol is potent, and can be toxic to those who drink it. If someone you know has a problem with alcohol addiction (alcoholism) it may be helpful to know what isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is, why someone with alcohol addiction issues may drink it, what are the side effects, and how you can get help with alcohol addiction.

What Is Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol, commonly called rubbing alcohol, is a chemical compound usually comprised of about 70 percent alcohol. The percent of alcohol isopropyl contains can range from 60 percent to 99 percent, explains. This compound is an item found in many American households, as it effectively sterilizes minor wounds. states isopropyl is “the go-to item to clean minor cuts and scrapes.”

Dangers Of Drinking Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol_Alcohol Content

Isopropyl can present dangerous risks when consumed, and if inhaled, can be toxic. This is because it contains a different type of alcohol. It is a compound that shouldn’t be consumed, but is often used as an alternative to alcohol.

Why Would Someone Drink Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol?

Some people may not have access to alcohol and may substitute with rubbing alcohol for the following reasons:

  • Isopropyl alcohol is inexpensive; alcohol is not (always)
  • Anyone can buy isopropyl alcohol; minors can’t buy alcohol
  • People struggling with alcohol addiction may not have access to alcohol if they are in treatment, out of funds, have no way to get it, etc.
  • Isopropyl alcohol may produce some of the same effects as alcohol (intoxication)

It may seem like common sense to avoid drinking a liquid used as a sterilizer—but people who struggle with addiction make decisions according to the limits of their substance abuse. Addiction is a disease which changes a person’s thought processes. Once a person is consumed by addiction, he or she may be helpless to fight the urges to seek the substance of choice through any means.

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What Are The Effects Of Drinking Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol?

Many of the effects of drinking isopropyl alcohol are similar to those of drinking alcohol. The only difference is that drinking alcohol may not be dangerous during one instance, but drinking isopropyl alcohol could be. Some of the side effects may include:Dangers Of Drinking Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol_Side Effects

  • Bleeding in the stomach or intestines
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive issues
  • Intoxication
  • Pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble walking
  • Vomiting

Because isopropyl is not made for consumption, drinking a lot of it can cause major problems. Internal bleeding can be hard to catch and is extremely dangerous to one’s health if left untreated. Drinking too much isopropyl alcohol can also cause low blood pressure, shock, or in extreme cases, coma.

Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

The National Council on Alcoholism And Drug Dependence explains that, “alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States.” In fact, 17.6 million people, which equals one in every 12 adults, struggles with alcohol abuse or addiction. This problem affects many people every day, though few ever make it into treatment.

Dangers Of Drinking Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol_17.6 Million

Alcohol addiction can greatly affect a person’s life, and the lives of those close to him or her. Prolonged abuse and addiction can have an impact on:

  • Career
  • Criminal record
  • Family
  • Finances
  • Friends
  • Health
  • Local community
  • Social well-being

Left untreated, addiction can take over a person’s life. can help those struggling find the treatment they need.

How Do You Treat Alcohol Abuse And Addiction?

Treating alcohol abuse and addiction is no easy task, but it is a worthy one. First, addicted individuals undergo detox—perhaps one of the harshest parts of treatment. After ridding the body of damaging toxins, a person can begin to heal. Once detox is completed, recovering individuals can move on to other parts of treatment.

Different rehab centers offer different treatment approaches. Some of the most effective methods include:

The best treatment plan is one that is right for you—one that works to address your specific treatment needs. If you talk to one of our specialists, we can help you find the rehab center that will provide this quality of care. Dangers Of Drinking Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol_Talk To Us

Reach Out For Help Today

Alcohol abuse and addiction touches more people than you may even realize. Addiction can drive a person to do things he or she may not otherwise do—like drink a harmful substance, such as isopropyl alcohol. If you know someone who struggles like this, don’t delay. Contact us now at to get your loved one into treatment and begin the rewarding journey to recovery.

Contact us today to learn more about the dangers of alcohol abuse!

For More Information Related to “The Dangers Of Drinking Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Capital Poison Center—Rubbing Alcohol Only Looks Like Water
National Council On Alcoholism And Drug Dependence—Facts About Alcohol
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism—Overview Of Alcohol Consumption

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