Most parents are in the dark regarding the popularity and dangers of inhalant use. However, children are quickly discovering common household products which are inexpensive to obtain, easy to hide and the easiest way to get high.
What are the commonly abused products?
Inhalants can be any of the following: gasoline, air-conditioner refrigerant, ink, liquid white out, ink pens and markers, paint, butane, cooking spray, and even canned whipped cream (commonly abused for the nitrous oxide), as well as thousands of other products.
THE MOST COMMON INHALANT OF ABUSE WE SEE ADOLESCENTS USING IS NITROUS OXIDE, n2o.
According to the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (1999), inhaling dangerous products is a problem in the country. More than a million people used inhalants to get high in 1997. By the time a student reaches the 8th grade, one in five will have used inhalants (National Inhalant Prevention Coalition).
Most drug abuse counselors, school staff and emergency room personnel would agree inhalants are extremely dangerous to anyone who uses them. Take a look at the following effects.
What are the effects of inhalant use?
LONG TERM EFFECTS
· Potential Sudden Sniffing Death at any use, even the first time (death !!!, on the first use or the 100th use)
· Short term memory loss
· Hearing loss
· lung damage
· loss of coordination
· slurred speech
· Limb spasms
· Permanent brain damage
· Bone marrow damage
· Liver and kidney damage
· muscle wasting
· Loss of sense of smell
· Possible fetal effects similar to fetal alcohol syndrome
· destruction of the myelin sheath which serves to protect neurons
· visual distortion