For the people in love with alcohol, there is nothing more relaxing than a glass of wine or their favourite scotch or vodka. Liquor industry is huge and growing. You need to have the right taste buds to taste wine and alcohol and there is always a correct way and dose to drink. Wine can do wonders if taken in right proportions and equally adverse effects if it is a fake one!
As it is, one just can’t ignore the ill-effects of alcohol and imagine the side-effects when it comes combined with seriously harmful agents. Fake alcohol making is a lucrative business and earns billions for its manufacturers. However it’s a bigger problem than imagined as it poses serious problems to people’s health and can cause anything from nausea to blindness and even death.
Fake or illegally produced alcohol is an alcohol that is produced in unlicensed distilleries or people’s homes and intended for sale and contains dangerous chemicals.
The certified alcoholic drinks which are properly produced are made with the correct proportions o ethanol. But fake alcoholic drinks can be produced using other cheaper types of alcohol which can have serious adverse effects on your health like methanol or iso-propanol etc.
The most commonly used substitutes for ethanol include chemicals used in cleaning fluids, nail polish remover and automobile screen wash, as well as methanol and iso-propanol which are used in antifreeze and some fuels. The motive of using these cheap alcohols is that they produce similar kinds of effects like making you feel tipsy or relaxed, sleepy etc. But they are potentially very dangerous. Drinking alcohol containing these chemicals can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. It can also lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma. Methanol, a substance which can be used in fake vodka, may cause permanent blindness.
According to the Trading Standards Institute, before you go out and purchase alcohol or order them online, remember ‘the 4 Ps’: Place, Price, Packaging and Product.
Place: Make sure you buy from a reputable supermarket, or a licensed shop.
Price: If a deal looks too good to be true, think again!
Packaging: Look out for:
- Poor quality labelling, including things like spelling mistakes.
- Duty stamps or tax stamps—spirits in bottles 35cl or larger and 30% ABV or higher have to have a duty stamp, which indicates that tax has either been paid or is due to be paid on the contents of the bottle – They’re usually incorporated into the label or stuck on the glass. If it’s not there, it’s illegal
- Properly sealed caps – If the seal is broken, don’t drink it. Even if it’s not illegal, it could have been tampered with.
- Fake bar codes – Check the authenticity of the product by scanning the barcode on the bottle; scan it and see if it’s listed as the correct product.
Product: Look out for fake versions of well-known brands. Vodka is the most common alcohol to be counterfeited. Make sure that the vodka is not diluted with water. If any alcohol tastes or smells bad, don’t drink it. Particularly look out for the smell of nail varnish.
Cheap alcohol might be tempting as it saves big bucks but think again that the deal you are striking is it really cheap? It can cost you big amounts on your medicines and hospital bills and even your life!