What are inhalants
Inhalants in this article are substances that are taken via the respiratory system or mouth to induce a feeling of being high to the user. They tend to have an immediate effect since they are quickly absorbed in the bloodstream via the lungs and distributed to the nervous system which includes the brain.
Types of inhalants
There are many types of inhalants grouped differently.
- Chlorinated hydrocarbons. This is found in things like spot removers, dry cleaning agents, correction fluids and degreasers
- Propane found in paints, air fresheners, hair spray, gas fuels, and deodorants.
- Toluene found in paints, shoe polish, airplane glue, polish remover, etc
- Butane in liquid fuels like petrol.
- Fluorocarbons in analgesic sprays, asthma treatments, Freon gas, spray paints, etc.
- Acetone in nail polish removers.
How they are taken
Inhalants can be taken in various ways. First is snorting or sniffing fumes directly from a container. Secondly a user may choose to spray the substance in the mucosa membrane of the mouth or nose. Other users will deposit the inhalants on a piece of paper and sniff it. A rag can be soaked with the inhalant and be stuffed inside the mouth. Another way is to fill balloons with a gas inhale it. This is famous for taking nitrous gas.
Statistics of abusers
A study done in Michigan gave worrying figures on the numbers involved in inhalants abuse. The study showed that 20 percent of young children have abused substances at least once before their eighth grade. At the age of 13, it is the prime age when they start this bad behavior. The race was another variable that was evaluated and it was found out that Hispanics abuse the inhalants more than the Whites and the blacks.
How inhalants are fatal
The inhalants are deemed as fatal substances because the can lead to death easily. There are various ways they can cause death. Foremost is the displace oxygen from the lungs and starve the body of the much-needed fuel of life. This condition is called asphyxiation.
Secondly they cause seizures and convulsions. The disturbances of the brain’s electrical discharges lead to these conditions. The third is they can lead to coma. Coma can occur as a result of a damaged brain shutting down some body organs. Choking can occur especially when the user decides to take it via the mouth.
Last but not least is that some accidents have been directly attributed to the intoxication of the drivers or road users. When one is intoxicated, judgment becomes impaired and can lead to improper use of the road or cannot control a vehicle fully hence cause accidents.
How to prevent inhalant abuse
Prevention of any form of drug abuse is a primary goal for society anywhere in the world. Lives have been lost, livelihoods disturbed and moral eroded by those who abuse the drug. There are many laid down mechanisms that can be used to prevent such abuses. Here are a few.
• Educate the youth on the dangers of inhalants. Most abuses are young adolescents who are eager to experiment on drugs. Been informed that there are dangers and possible fatalities of the act then some will not go that route. Education can be conducted by parents or guardian’s ant home or at school levels
• Arrest the peddlers. Though inhalants are cheap and can be found nearly everywhere, there is always a person whose sole business is to sell them as drugs rather than the intended useful way. If that some is identified and arrested, them a chain will be broken
• Engage young children in sports activities or other beneficial leisure. Idleness can lead to a desire for inhalants. Once they are engaged in sports like football and leisure activities like singing, they will find little or no time to contemplate of drugs
The piece of article has a brief insight on inhalants. Abusers need to be loved by society and taken through the rehabilitation process and those who have not yet begun need to be discouraged by all means possible.