Vodka eyeballing, choking, and huffing cinnamon are all unconventional methods teens are trying to get high.
Now, another unusual trend has emerged among teens to get buzzed. It’s called “Beezin,’’ and it involves rubbing Burt’s Bees lip balm on their eyelids. The peppermint oil found in the balm creates a tingling sensation that some teens say enhances the feeling when they are already drunk or high. Others say its a way to keep them alert after a long night.
Because teens do not get high from its application alone, the practice may seem benign. But many medical experts warn that its unintended use may be dangerous, especially since eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of the body.
In some cases, rubbing the lip balm onto eyelids can cause swelling and symptoms similar to pink eye, Dr. Brett Cauthen, a family physician at Today Clinic in Oklahoma City, told Oklahoma’s Fox television news affiliate, Fox-25.
“The peppermint oil in the lip balm is a very strong irritant and can cause inflammation in the eye redness of the eye, swelling,’’ Cauthen told Fox-25.
The practice could also lead to a more serious risk of infection, especially if someone uses lip balm that has been used by others, or has previously been used on the lips.
YouTube videos show teens trying the disturbing trend, and even creating music videos highlighting its commonplace use at parties.
Teens may think that Burt’s Bees products are harmless because they are listed as all-natural. But a spokesperson for Burt’s Bees told the New York Daily News that its products are only tested for safety for its intended use.
“There are lots of natural things that probably shouldn’t go in eyes — dirt, twigs, leaves, food — and our lip balm,’’ a company spokesperson said in a statement to the Daily News.
Cauthen said parents should monitor how their teens are using the balm.
“Our big message is natural does not equate with safety,’’ Cauthen told Fox-25.