While Australian policy-makers, police and private security are consistently challenged in mitigating the risks associated with alcohol consumption, a new product may increase the likelihood of alcohol abuse at Australian events and venues if it is authorised for sale on our shores. As reported on the company’s website, creators of ‘Palcohol’ – powdered alcohol – claim that the lightweight concentrated substance can create taxation savings for hospitality organisations that currently rely on imported alcohol, and would provide convenience to adult travellers wanting to consume alcohol. As The Independent reported, after the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the sale of powdered vodka and rum in late March of this year, a number of US state governments have sought to ban or restrict sales of Palcohol. While many states have been successful in doing so, the potential for this product to enter the unregulated black market remains.
With a significant portion of the youth population who consume alcohol for the express purpose of intoxication, Palcohol represents a particular risk, owing to its potential for abuse, snorting and smuggling into venues. This new and emerging risk represents challenges to state and federal law makers before it takes a foothold in the marketplace and becomes subject to wide abuse.