Can you drink drinking alcohol as an internal disinfectant?

Sometimes alcoholics will turn to unlikely sources of alcohol to get their fix. Rubbing alcohol is commonly used in households as an antiseptic for cuts and scrapes, but it can be used by an alcoholic to alleviate cravings for alcohol. Also known as isopropyl alcohol, the sedative-hypnotic agent is not the same as beverage alcohol that one normally drinks. Alcohol-dependent individuals looking for a quick fix are known to resort to substances like mouthwash or rubbing alcohol to satisfy their body’s need for booze. Most of the time, this behavior stems either from a strong craving or other symptoms of withdrawal like:

Excessive sweating
Nausea with or without vomiting
An agitated state
There is another form of rubbing alcohol — ethyl alcohol — but it is manufactured so it isn’t drinkable. Those who ingest it anyway will risk coma and even death due to its potent toxicity. Isopropyl alcohol is most widely available and found in affordable everyday products, such as hand sanitizers

The dangers of consuming rubbing alcohol are numerous. Isopropyl alcohol is actually a common choice among individuals wishing to commit suicide. Thus, consuming it to get drunk is quite risky, however effective. Persons who are being treated with antidepressants may be even more susceptible to the effects of isopropyl alcohol and therefore might have poor reactions to ingesting even lesser amounts of the substance. Some brands of rubbing alcohol feature up 99 percent alcohol concentration. Nonetheless, this isn’t the same kind of alcohol you are meant to drink, and it certainly has nothing to do with proof. Per UpToDate, 250 mL of isopropyl rubbing alcohol can be lethal when consumed. The chemical can seriously harm the esophagus and lungs, in addition to inflicting side effects similar to narcotics with its fumes alone. The same risks apply to rubbing alcohol as regular alcohol consumption, including liver and kidney damage, heart troubles, cancer, employment troubles, failed interpersonal relationships, financial losses, and more. In 2011 alone, 16,749 people died from alcohol-induced liver disease in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The riskiest side effect of all is actually isopropyl alcohol poisoning, which can occur even when smaller amounts of the chemical are ingested. Overdose on isopropyl alcohol is quite possible and signs of such, per Medline Plus, consist of:

Abdominal pain
Decreased body temperature
Accelerated heart rate
Slurred speech
Depressed breathing
Throat pain