The Doctors are urging parents to speak to their kids about the dangers of ingesting methanol after two teens died after mixing it with soda and drinking it.
The deadly drink, often called “Dewshine,” took the lives of the two Greenbrier, Tennessee high school students earlier this year.
Toxicologist and emergency medicine physician Dr. Donna Seger from the Tennessee Poison Center says of the incident, “We have certainly seen methanol ingestion, but nothing like this. This was a product that was almost 100 percent methanol, which is quite unusual.”
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork details the dangers of what investigators believe the teens consumed.
“[In] racing fuel, methanol is the main ingredient. A breakdown product of that is formaldehyde,” he explains. “It directly affects the nervous system. It can lead to blindness, coma and death. That’s what happened in this scenario. It’s very different than ethanol. Ethanol is what is in the distilled spirits are that we drink… methanol is deadly. Kids don’t know any better.”
According to the CDC, from 2011 to 2014, there were 7,183 reports of methanol exposure, with 660 of those cases being intentional.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon notes, “You can get in trouble so quickly. Just three ounces of methanol can kill you. One tablespoon can potentially blind you permanently.”
The Doctors hope this tragic incident will encourage parents to discuss the dangers of ingesting these types of harmful substances with their children.
“It breaks my heart that kids will go to these lengths… parents out there, you have got to have this discussion with your kids,” Dr. Stork pleads.
Dr. Ordon adds, “I hope it’s a wake-up call in the community.”
If you know or believe someone ingested methanol, seek medical help immediately.