As a kid, I remember sneaking occasional sips from my parents’ bottles of Crème De Menthe and Bailey’s Irish Crème. I’m sure that goes a long way towards explain why I’m a beer drinker.

But for today’s kids, there’s no need to break into mom and dad’s liquor cabinet—or pay some 21-year old (or an irresponsible adult) to buy booze for them. And there’s certainly no need to chug cough syrup. Why bother? If you want to get drunk, all you have to do is pick up a bottle of hand sanitizer, which has alcohol as its active ingredient–and is about the cheapest high available.

Hand sanitizers are usually 62-65 percent ethyl alcohol or ethanol. That’s 124-130 proof, which packs a hell of a punch (vodka, by contrast, is around 80 proof). So all you need to get ripped is a few sips. That would explain why teens are showing up in emergency rooms around the country with alcohol poisoning. Some kids are drinking the hand sanitizer straight. Others are taking notes from the convenient YouTube videos showing how to use salt and other methods to separate the alcohol from the inactive ingredients in the gel.

Interesting that this news comes right on the heels of a survey done by Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Texas, which found that 85 percent of parents say their children aren’t interested in drinking. Unfortunately for those parents, a third of 8th graders admit that they drink. One in seven high school sophomores and a quarter of seniors say they’ve been drunk within the previous month.

So no, the kids say they aren’t interested in drinking, but they do seem especially interested in clean hands…