Experts are warning about the dangers of a potentially deadly homemade concoction known as “dewshine,” which is a mixture of racing fuel and Mountain Dew, a soft drink.
In a recent case, two Tennessee teens died after drinking the toxic combination. It was the first known incident in the state. Two other teens were also treated, but survived, according to doctors.
The dewshine mixture is used to get drunk quickly, but the racing fuel can cause severe symptoms, including blindness and death, said Dr. Donna Seger, medical director of the Tennessee Poison Center.
“Racing fuel, used for drag racing, is almost 100 percent methanol. This affects the body at a cellular level and causes the cells to die,” said Seger, who is also a clinical professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Drinking homemade dewshine can trigger nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, seizures, coma and death, depending on how much methanol is consumed, Seger said in a university news release. Methanol also affects the retina and can lead to permanent blindness.
The poison center, located at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is educating doctors and the public about the dangers of the potentially deadly drink.
“These deaths are so unfortunate, because I’m sure these people did not understand the lethality of this combination. This is so toxic. Drinking methanol is a recipe for disaster,” Seger said.
This poisonous mixture should not be confused with the Mountain Dew product sold in stores and online, called DEWshine, which is a nonalcoholic citrus-flavored soda, made of real sugar.
If you suspect a poisoning, you can reach a poison center anywhere in the United States by calling 1-800-222-1222.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about methanol poisoning.