Inhalants


Slang: Glue, Kick, Bang, Sniff, Huff, Poppers, Whippets, Texas Shoe-Shine. Inhalants Are Second Most Popular Drug for Youth

Over one million youngsters aged 12-17 used inhalants in the past year. Neither they nor their parents are aware that sniffing could kill a child using for the first time. Young adolescents are engaging in potentially deadly substance abuse utilizing common household products.

Today there are almost a million new inhalant users, up from 390,000 in 1990. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that one in five youth report having sniffed or huffed common household goods such as air fresheners, cooking spray, markers and glue at least once in their lives to get high. Surveys also find that parents often underestimate the use of inhalants by their children and need to be constantly aware of their children's activities and behavior.

Inhalants affect your brain


Inhalants are substances or fumes from products such as glue or paint thinner that are sniffed or "huffed" to cause an immediate high. Because they affect your brain with much greater speed and force than many other substances, they can cause irreversible physical and mental damage before you know what's happened.

Inhalants affect your heart


Inhalants starve the body of oxygen and force the heart to beat irregularly and more rapidly--that can be dangerous for your body.

Inhalants damage other parts of your body People who use inhalants can lose their sense of smell; experience nausea and nosebleeds; and develop liver, lung, and kidney problems. Chronic use can lead to muscle wasting and reduced muscle tone and strength.

Inhalants can cause sudden death. Inhalants can kill you instantly. Inhalant users can die by suffocation, choking on their vomit, or having a heart attack.

Stay informed. Inhalants include a large group of chemicals that are found in such household products as aerosol sprays, cleaning fluids, glue, paint, paint thinner, gasoline, propane, nail polish remover, correction fluid, and marker pens. None of these are safe to inhale-they all can kill you.

Be aware


Chemicals like amyl nitrate and isobutyl nitrate ("poppers"), and nitrous oxide ("whippets") are often sold at concerts and dance clubs. They can permanently damage your body and brain.

Know the risks. Chronic inhalant abusers may permanently lose the ability to perform everyday functions like walking, talking, and thinking.

How can you tell if a friend is using inhalants? Sometimes it's tough to tell. But there are signs you can look for. If your friend has one or more of the following warning signs, he or she may be using inhalants:

"Slurred speech
"Drunk, dizzy, or dazed appearance
"Unusual breath odor
"Chemical smell on clothing
"Paint stains on body or face
"Red eyes
"Runny nose

Questions and Answers about huffing

Q. Since inhalants are found in household products, aren't they safe?

A. No. Even though household products like glue and air freshener have legal, useful purposes, when they are used as inhalants they are harmful and dangerous. These products are not intended to be inhaled.

Q. Doesn't it take many "huffs" before you're in danger?

A. No. One "huff" of an inhalant can kill you, or the 10th, or the 100th. Every huff can be dangerous. Even if you have huffed before without experiencing a problem, there's no way of knowing how the next huff will affect you.

Q. Can inhalants make me lose control?

A. Yes. Inhalants affect your brain and can cause you to suddenly engage in violent, or even deadly, behavior. You could hurt yourself or the people you love.

If you suspect your teen or someone you know is huffing seek help before they cause serious damage to themselves.

Call now for information on placement options for your loved one. 1-800-781-8281

More information about huffing:

Inhalants are legal, everyday products whose vapors or gas can be intentionally inhaled to get high. Inhalants include ether, glue, chloroform, nitrous oxide, gasoline, and paint thinner. Use of inhalants among adolescents aged 12 to 17 is a concern because inhalants generally can be legally obtained and use can result in brain damage or death.

Inhalants are volatile substances that produce chemical vapors that can be inhaled to induce a psychoactive, or mind-altering, effect. Although other abused substances can be inhaled, the term "inhalants" is used to describe a variety of substances whose main common characteristic is that they are rarely, if ever, taken by any route other than inhalation. This definition encompasses a broad range of chemicals found in hundreds of different products that may have different pharmacological effects. As a result, precise categorization of inhalants is difficult. One classification system lists four general categories of inhalants-volatile solvents, aerosol, gases, and nitrites-based on the form in which they are often found in household, industrial, and medical products.

Volatile solvents are liquids that vaporize at room temperatures. They are found in a multitude of inexpensive, easily available products used for common household and industrial purposes. These include paint thinners and removers, dry-cleaning fluids, degreasers, gasoline, glues, correction fluids, and felt-tip marker fluids.

Aerosols are sprays that contain propellants and solvents. They include spray paints, deodorant and hair sprays, vegetable oil sprays for cooking, and fabric protector sprays.

Gases include medical anesthetics as well as gases used in household or commercial products. Medical anesthetic gases include ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide, commonly called "laughing gas." Nitrous oxide is the most abused of these gases and can be found in whipped cream dispensers and products that boost octane levels in racing cars. Household or commercial products containing gases include butane lighters, propane tanks, whipped cream dispensers, and refrigerants.

Nitrites often are considered a special class of inhalants. Unlike most other inhalants, which act directly on the central nervous system (CNS), nitrites act primarily to dilate blood vessels and relax the muscles. And while other inhalants are used to alter mood, nitrites are used primarily as sexual enhancers. Nitrites include cyclohexyl nitrite, isoamyl (amyl) nitrite, and isobutyl (butyl) nitrite. Cyclohexyl nitrite is found in room odorizers. Amyl nitrite is used in certain diagnostic procedures and is prescribed to some patients for heart pain. Illegally diverted ampules of amyl nitrite are called "poppers" or "snappers" on the street. Butyl nitrite is an illegal substance that is often packaged and sold in small bottles also referred to as "poppers."

Some information above was obtained from SAMHSA is An Agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services