Find out about inhalants, the deadly easily available poison in home and office that your teen may be abusing
You’ve warned your teens about the dangers of using drugs, but what about inhalants? As a concerned parent, you have informed your teens about the dangers of drug use, and you keep a close eye to make sure they aren’t exposed to street drugs outside the home. You may have overlooked an insidious danger already lurking right in your home, however. Many parents are unaware of the easily available poison in home and office products that can pose a deadly risk to teens when deliberately inhaled. Finding out about these poisonous substances – what they are, how they are abused, and what affect they have on teens’ health – can help you keep your kids safe from their harmful effects.
Common deadly household poisons that are huffed
There are more than 1,400 common household products that can be used to get high. When deliberately inhaled, these deadly poisons produce feelings of euphoria, but they can also cause permanent health consequences for teens. The most common deadly household poisons that teens huff to get high fall into four main categories. These deadly intoxicating substances include:
- Volatile solvents are poisonous liquids that release fumes at room temperature. They offer a very short high when inhaled. Volatile solvents commonly found in the home include cleaning and home supplies such as nail polish remover, degreaser, and clothing stain-remover pens. Other examples include popular art and office supplies such as liquid ink correction fluid, glue, paint thinners, and felt-tip marker fluid.
- Aerosol sprays that contain propellants are some of the most commonly abused poisons in the home. Teens prefer them because they are cheap and easily obtained. Huffing these substances gives teens a disoriented feeling. Aerosol inhalants found in most homes include deodorants, cooking oil sprays, spray paint cans, hair sprays, and fabric protector sprays.
- Gases used as propellants can be found in some items frequently used in the home. Teens spraying these household poisons into a bag and deliberately inhaling the fumes can experience a high similar to being given ether or other anesthetics. Common gases used by teens to get high include whipping cream, lighter fluid, and propane tanks.
- Nitrites are banned in household products but they are sold in gas stations and other stores where teens can easily buy them. These substances are often disguised with labels that sound like ordinary household products such as air deodorizers, liquid aromas, leather cleaners, or video head cleaners. These poisonous substances contain amyl, butyl, and cyclohexyl nitrites and other related compounds that get users high by working directly on the central nervous system.
Dangers of huffing household items
Teens are often unaware of the dangers of huffing household items. Deliberately inhaling these common household chemicals can cause permanent damage to teens’ bodies and brains. The organ damage that inhalants cause is not reversible and continues even after a person stops abusing inhalants. Some of the damage that huffing household items can cause to users’ bodies includes:
- Sudden sniffing death, a condition where users instantly die from the catastrophic effects of these substances
- Heart damage
- Muscle weakness
- Liver failure
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
- Aplastic anemia, where the body produces fewer blood cells
- Bone marrow damage
- Increased risk of leukemia
Users who huff household items can inflict significant damage to their brain cells. Inhalants can cause a condition known as brain hypoxia, where users do not get enough oxygen to their brain. The amount of damage depends on the area of brain that is cutoff from oxygen. Teens who huff may end up unable to learn or remember new things. They may become clumsy or be unable to carry on even simple conversations. There is no known way to reverse this damage.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.