Surrogate alcohol is a term for any substance containing alcohol that is consumed but is not meant for human consumption. Most people turn to these as a last resort either out of desperation or being unable to afford consumable alcoholic beverages.
Common surrogate alcohols
- Aftershave or cologne
- Cleaning fluids such as Windex
- Rubbing alcohol and other disinfectants
- Rocket fuel
- Wiper fluid
- Liquid soap
- Denatured Alcohol - Ethanol rendered unfit to drink by mixing with methanol or bittering agents
- Sterno Cocktail
- Moonshine and other homemade alcohols, including two or more of the above mixed together.
Dangers to health
Most surrogate alcohols have very high alcoholic levels, some as high as 97%, and thus can lead to alcohol poisoning, along with other symptoms of alcohol abuse such as vertigo, impaired coordination, balance and judgment, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and even long-term effects such as heart failure and stroke.
Besides alcohol, there are many other toxic substances in surrogate alcohol such as hydrogen peroxide, antiseptics, ketones, as well as alcohols other than ethanol (drinking alcohol) such as isopropyl and methanol. Consumption of these can lead to internal hemorrhaging and scarring, ulcers, headaches, CNS depression, blindness, coma and death.
Template:Confusing Surrogate alcohol is a common problem in Russia  contributing to the high rate of alcohol-related deaths in the country. During the reign of the Soviet Union alcoholic beverages were often the only things the general public could afford, which led to the rampant alcoholism Russia still suffers today. Under Gorbachev the 1985 alcohol reform attempted to fight widespread alcoholism by increasing prices and reducing availability, this created a black market economy for alcohol that included surrogates. Once the USSR collapsed however, alcohol prices went up, leading people to turn to cheaper surrogate alcohol to satisfy their craving.
- "Russian 'surrogate' alcohols are a killer ( Heavy alcohol consumption contributes t...)". Bio-medicine.org. 2009-06-30. http://www.bio-medicine.org/biology-news/Russian-surrogate-alcohols-are-a-killer-1846-1/. Retrieved 2009-09-21.