Everyday household products can pose some real problems for teens who begin using them as inhalants. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 1 in 4 adolescents are “huffing” chemicals such as gases, nitrates, aerosol, and volatile solvents to get high from the effects produced which are similar to anesthetics that slow down the functionality of the body. One of the commonalities of inhalants is that they are typically the first drug that tends to be tried by kids. Over 2.6 million adolescents from the ages of 12-17 use easy-to-get inhalants as their means to get high. Inhalants are the fourth most abused mind-altering substance behind nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana. While inhalants are known to be abused, there is not an exact number of the lives that have been taken from the drug because these deaths are often contributed to other causes. Regardless of sporadic use or consistent abuse, inhalants can be harmful. Risks from inhalants cause bodily damage among the vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, brain, and liver. From disrupting heart rhythms which can induce a heart attack to lower oxygen levels in the lungs to cause suffocation, inhalants are dangerous from the get-go. Sudden Sniffing Death is also possible among unsuspecting users which may lead to death on their 1st, 51st, or 99th time they decide to recreationally sniff inhalants. Just like with any consumption of mind-altering substances, the brain changes from the effects of misuse and inhalants are no different. With tolerance and dependency built up, teen abusers can suffer physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Inhalants abuse can also affect a teenager’s ability to maintain good grades, have regular attendance at school, and sustain healthy relationships. Instead of keeping the same interests, they may begin to use inhalants until they cannot stop on their own.
There are signs that parents should look for that could reveal misuse of inhalants in their teen.
- Chemical or paint stains on the body or clothing
- Jerky reactions
- Loss of motor control
- Facial rash
- Loss of appetite
- Dizzy spells
- Chemical odor on breath
- Sores around the mouth
- Red eyes or nose
Treatment is available which can help get an adolescent sober from inhalant use. Depending on the length and severity of the addiction, there are inpatient programs that can help parents to find the solution they are seeking that can be instrumental in stopping inhalant abuse within their teen.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long term residential treatment programs for addiction recovery. Our programs involve the whole family for foundation building, life cleansing change.
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