Saturday 24 March 2018

Fake alcohol warning as man left seriously ill after drank methanol which was sold as vodka

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Stock photo
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A public health alert has been issued after a man, who is seriously ill in a Dublin hospital, was given fake alcohol.

The HSE said the patient drank liquid from a vodka bottle- bought from an unrecognised vendor in Ballymun-  which turned out to be filled with the highly-toxic methanol.

The noxious liquid is a clear fluid which provides the same temporary 'high' as regular alcohol - but with  devastating side effects.

The HSE has now issued a public health alert about the consumption of fake or counterfeit alcohol.

This follows the hospitalisation of the patient with methanol poisoning. The Gardaí in Ballymun and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland are investigating the incident.

The advice is :

  • Only buy alcohol from a recognised shop, off-license or licensed premises.
  • If you bought alcohol from an unrecognised seller, do not drink it. Hand the bottle in to your local garda station to help in the investigation of this incident.
  • If you recently drank alcohol from a bottle bought on the street and are concerned about symptoms, seek urgent medical advice.
  • Methanol is highly toxic. Consumption of methanol can cause kidney failure, blindness and death.
  • Methanol is contained in solvents, anti-freeze and windscreen wash. It is also called methyl alcohol, carbinol, wood alcohol or wood spirit.
  • People who drink methanol may initially have symptoms of loss of balance, staggering, slurred speech and eye tremor. There may be a gap of 12 -24 hours before symptoms of methanol poisoning develop. These can include headache, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and rapid breathing. In severe cases, convulsions and coma can develop.

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