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Understanding Teen Inhalant Abuse

When thinking about inhalants around the house, the last thing you probably thought of when you placed this household product in a cabinet is that your teen would ever use this poison to get to high. Think again. Although inhalants are not as common as alcohol, prescription drugs, or street drugs are, they could be used by your teen for a few different reasons.      


Drugs and alcohol can be difficult at times for teens to get and if they are withdrawing from them, they will use whatever they can get their hands including something that is in the chemical cabinet.


One kid could tell your kid about how much fun he had with the funny feeling gas he sucked in from a can of computer duster. Instead of understanding the dangers, your teen could be intrigued to try it out to get a buzz that only lasts a few seconds.


Your teenager could find out about the effects of an inhalant by simply trying to suck whipped cream right out of the top of the can or thinking that a whippet is for fun. Inhalants are usually perceived as getting a short-lived buzz and used for enjoyment rather than understanding the legitimate dangers that they pose. The misconception is that inhalants only last for seconds even though some can actually last up to 45 minutes depending on which inhalant was used. Abuse from inhalants can vary from household solvents, gases, and aesthetics which is much scarier than the vision of accidentally sucking the nitrous oxide out of a whip cream can for a giggle. What is every more frightening is that inhalant abuse is more prevalent than you may think according to Alliance for Consumer Education.
  • Around 2.5 million adolescents from the ages of 12-17 have used an inhalant to get high.
  • 1 in 4 students have intentionally huffed a household product by the eighth grade.
  • An inhalant is the most common first drug of choice.
  • The 4th most used drug after alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana is an inhalant.
  • Approximately 60 percent of teens are aware that their friends are sniffing inhalants.  
The risks that are associated with inhalants by far exceed the rewards that one will get from huffing. Now that you see these statistics of inhalant abuse, it is up to you keep an eye on your teenager as well as your household products.

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center leads the way with progressive, evidence-based programming to most effectively treat each individual adolescent while focusing on the uniqueness of each client. Healing the mind, the body, and the spirit as one in the same can make the biggest difference in staying sober.

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