all over your house. They're in your child's school. In fact, you
probably picked some up the last time you went to the grocery store.
Educate yourself. Find out about inhalants before your children
parents are in the dark regarding the popularity and dangers of
inhalant use. But children are quickly discovering that common
household products are inexpensive to obtain, easy to hide and
the easiest way to get high. According to national surveys, inhaling
dangerous products is becoming one of the most widespread problems
in the country. It is as popular as marijuana with young people.
More than a million people used inhalants to get high just last
year. By the time a student reaches the 8th grade, one in five
will have used inhalants.
is inhalant use?Inhalant
use refers to the intentional breathing of gas or vapors with
the purpose of reaching a high. Inhalants are legal, everyday
products which have a useful purpose, but can be misused. You're
probably familiar with many of these substances -- paint, glue
and others. But you probably don't know that there are more than
1,000 products that are very dangerous when inhaled -- things
like typewriter correction fluid, air-conditioning refrigerant,
felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane and even
cooking spray. See Products
Abused as Inhalants for more details.
is at risk? Inhalants are an
equal opportunity method of substance abuse. Statistics show that
young, white males have the highest usage rates. Hispanic and
American Indian populations also show high rates of usage. See
of Users and Signs of an Inhalant User
for more details.
can inhalants do to the body?
Nearly all abused products produce effects similar to anesthetics,
which slow down the body's function. Varying upon level of dosage,
the user can experience slight stimulation, feeling of less inhibition
or loss of consciousness. The user can also suffer from Sudden
Sniffing Death Syndrome. This
means the user can die the 1st, 10th or 100th time he or she uses
an inhalant. Other effects include
damage to the heart, kidney, brain, liver, bone marrow and other
organs. This type of damage is long term and can't be easily reversed with a simple vitamin or krill oil supplement. Results similar to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may also occur
when inhalants are used during pregnancy. Inhalants are physically
and psychologically addicting and users suffer withdrawal symptoms.
Inhalants Can Cause to the Body and Brain, Long-Term
Effects of Inhalant Usage and Signs and
Symptoms of a Long-Term User for more details.
can I do if someone I know is huffing and appears in a state of
crisis? If someone you know is
huffing, the best thing to do is remain calm and seek help. Agitation
may cause the huffer to become violent, experience hallucinations
or suffer heart dysfunction which can cause Sudden
Sniffing Death Syndrome. Make
sure the room is well ventilated and call EMS. If the person is
not breathing, administer CPR. Once recovered, seek professional
treatment and counseling. See What
To Do If Someone is Huffing for more details.
inhalant use be treated? Treatment
facilities for inhalant users are rare and difficult to find.
Users suffer a high rate of relapse, and require thirty to forty
days or more of detoxification. Users suffer withdrawal symptoms
which can include hallucinations, nausea, excessive sweating,
hand tremors, muscle cramps, headaches, chills and delirium tremens.
Follow-up treatment is very important. If you or someone you know
is seeking help for inhalant abuse, you can contact the National
Inhalant Prevention Coalition at 1-800-269-4237 for information
on treatment centers and general information on inhalants. Through
a network of nationwide contacts, NIPC can help (but
not guarantee) finding a center
in your area that treats inhalant use.
should I tell my child or students about inhalants?
It is never too early to teach your children about the dangers
of inhalants. Don't just say "not my kid." Inhalant use starts
as early as elementary school and is considered a gateway to further
substance abuse. Parents often remain ignorant of inhalant use
or do not educate their children until it is too late. Inhalants
are not drugs. They are poisons and toxins and should be discussed
as such. There are, however, a few age appropriate guidelines
that can be useful when educating your children. See Tips
for Teachers for more details on how much to tell your children
or students in the classroom about inhalants.
Parents normally try to provide the best for their children. These same parents would find it alarming that various inhalants are popular among the youth and possibly their own children.
can I educate my community about inhalants?
NIPC leads the annual National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness
Week (NIPAW) every third week
in March. The next campaign will be held March 18 - 24, 2012.
This community mobilization campaign has proven to be an effective
tool for fighting inhalant abuse. In Texas, where the campaign
originated, inhalant use decreased following widespread involvement
in NIPAW. For details on the campaign and NIPAW coordination in
your community, see NIPAW 2012.
can I be put on the NIPC mailing list?
To receive current inhalant news and information, contact NIPC
with your name, organization (if applicable), address, phone,
fax and e-mail. Also, please indicate how you heard about the
National Inhalant Prevention Coalition or how you found NIPC on
the Web. Subscriptions to the NIPC newsletter and general information
booklet "Inhalants: Subscriptions to NIPC's electronic newsletter, NIPC UPDATE, and other NIPC resources are free, but a voluntary payment or contribution is requested.
Inhalant Prevention Coalition
318 Lindsay Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
phone: 800-269-4237 or 423-265-4662