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Advocates seek state ban on the sale of powdered alcohol

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Concerns over teenagers abusing powdered alcohol has some state lawmakers pushing to ban its sale in New York. The bill, supported by state Senator Tim Kennedy and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, would also make it illegal for anyone under 21 to possess palcohol, as it's sometimes called.

Horizon Health Services President Anne Constantino says the community already has an addiction crisis.

"Sixty-four percent of seniors in high school report abusing alcohol. Two in three high school students report binge drinking where they drink to the point of intoxication frequently. These are high statistics. So, just one more drug, that is easy to access, is not going to help our problem," Constantino said at a Thursday news conference.  

A federal agency recently approved palcohol, which is intended to be mixed into juice or soda. Jodie Altman with Kids Escaping Drugs says many teens addicted to other drugs start out with alcohol.   

"The idea that we would have this powdered alcohol will be one more thing, because they are risk-takers, for them to try. It will be one more thing for them to sneak into school, to sneak into their homes. It will be one more thing to contribute to their addiction," Altman said.

Kennedy says he is hoping to get the ban approved before the end of the legislative session in June. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is pushing to ban the powder at the federal level.