Forms and Appearance
In its pure form, isopropyl alcohol is a clear, colourless liquid.
Medical and Other Uses
Isopropyl alcohol is widely used in rubbing alcohol products, in cosmetics such as aftershave and hand lotions, and in some antifreeze solutions and quick-drying inks.
Alcoholics on the street sometimes combine isopropyl alcohol with ethyl alcohol.
Methods of Use
Isopropyl alcohol is taken orally, sometimes in desperation by alcoholics who cannot buy ethyl alcohol.
Effects of Use
Short-term, low dose use causes mild inebriation, and can cause diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Higher doses can cause poisoning which can lead to kidney damage, coma and frequently death from breathing failure.
Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal
Very few people regularly drink isopropyl alcohol because of its known poisonous effects. Tolerance does appear to develop.
Isopropyl alcohol is much more dangerous than ethyl alcohol. Doses of 120-240 ml can kill an adult, and much lower doses can kill a small child.