Police in the Baden-Württemburg city of Tuttlingen responded Tuesday to growing online chatter among teenagers that they could become intoxicated using the vodka tampons without having alcohol on their breath.
This is not true, police said, denying that it was an effective way to get drunk. They also warned girls that the alcohol could damage vaginal walls and increase the risk of infection. Boys have reportedly also been using tampons anally.
“I believe this is very dangerous,” head of a children's clinic in Singen told southern German paper Südkurier last week. “For us this is a new thing.”
In early March a 14-year-old girl collapsed during a street festival in Konstanz, apparently highly intoxicated from using a vodka tampon, the paper reported.
Youth researchers have since found out that this form of alcohol abuse is trendy in the region.
But teens who believe they can hide the smell of alcohol consumption are wrong, experts told the paper.
The development shows a new dimension for alcohol abuse among teens, county social worker Axel Goßner told the Südkurier.
“Alcohol is no longer a stimulant, but a means to an end,” he said.
The trend arose among teens in the United States, where it is known as “slimming.” But it has reportedly caught on in Scandinavia and other places where alcohol is difficult for young people to acquire.
Some Facebook groups are even devoted to exchanging tips on the topic, complete with how-to videos and instructions.