I hate hangovers. So, when AWOL – Alcohol Without Liquid – became available in the United States, I was one of the first to shell out three hundred dollars plus fifteen dollars shipping and handling to purchase the single user machine online. What is AWOL? It’s a machine that vaporizes alcohol and mixes it with oxygen, allowing the user to breathe in the mixture. AWOL produces a very fine alcoholic mist that the user is supposed to take in over a twenty minute period, which is the equivalent of taking one shot of distilled spirits (hard liquor).
That’s where they lost me. Twenty minutes to take in one shot? Even the skinny guy at the bar who “doesn’t like to drink” doesn’t take twenty minutes to do one shot. That’s just ridiculous. Still, I gave it a shot (so to speak).
AWOL was introduced in the United States in 2004, and since that time, many lawmakers have promoted legislation to ban alcohol inhalation machines like AWOL. Why? No one is really sure, since the possible health and safety risks of inhaling alcoholic vapors are unknown and initial tests seem to indicate that it’s no more harmful than consuming alcoholic beverages.
AWOL’s marketers boast that their product produces a “euphoric high” and the good feelings associated with alcohol consumption while eliminating the high calories and carbohydrates. Hangovers are also prevented because the alcohol is delivered along with oxygen to the brain.
I did get a hangover after using AWOL, not because of my use of the machine, but rather because I did several regular shots after using the AWOL machine in order to get drunk. The AWOL itself simply didn’t get the job done.
AWOL claims that vaporized alcohol enters the bloodstream faster and that its effects are more immediate, but I didn’t walk away from the AWOL after twenty minutes feeling like I had drank. On the contrary, I didn’t feel much at all.
And I confess that I looked pretty silly using AWOL with a cardboard tube pressed against my lips, taking in the vapor.
If you absolutely must try AWOL, then I recommend finding a bar that has a machine before shelling out the money for one yourself. But in my opinion, you should probably just go down to the corner liquor store and pick yourself up a good old-fashioned bottle of Jack Daniels. At least you know he won’t let you down.