What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (2023)

Markers, glue, spray paint, and even helium balloons—these common household items seem harmless enough, especially when used as intended. But sometimes kids inhale them to get high. This practice, often referred to as sniffing, can be deadly.

"Sudden death from inhalation" occurs when the heart stops pumping after someone uses an inhalant.The common cold can also cause other serious health consequences, including permanent brain damage and destruction of the heart, kidneys, and liver.

Snorting or inhaling household remedies is often seen by young people as a way to get high quickly. This can be especially true for young children who do not drive and have limited access to drugs. Teenagers can also enjoy snufflingpart of a challenge, because they are curious about the experience or because they are bored.

According to the National Poison Control Center, 20% of eighth graders admit to abusing inhalants.The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 8.5% of high school students between the ages of 12 and 17 have used inhalants at least once in their lives.

As a parent, it's important that you know what a sniffle is, the signs of inhaler use, the most common objects used for sniffing, and the possible consequences. Learn what to do if you find out your child is experimenting with inhalants.

How the sniffle works

Inhalants are legal, everyday household items that children have easy access to, such as B. markers, glue and hairspray. These substances are harmless when used as intended. But if the fumes from these products are intentionally inhaled, they can induce a high. They can also become poisonous and even deadly.

There are different approaches or methods of inhaling, depending on the inhalant, the container it comes in, and personal preference. Some inhalants are inhaled directly from the canister. Others can be inhaled from a rag or glove soaked with the substance.

Sometimes teenagers put inhalants in a paper or plastic bag or balloon and inhale. In other cases, they can spray the inhalant directly into their mouth.

Inhaling or inhaling certain substances can cause a quick high as they are quickly absorbed through the lungs and bloodstream into the brain. The person who snorts experiences a quick high, but only for a very short duration.

Youth drug use warning sign

snorting signs

Because inhalers are readily available, inexpensive, and easy to conceal, they can be attractive to young people looking to get high. But wheezing is also extremely dangerous and addictive, so it's important to recognize the signs a teen is wheezing.

While it's usually easy to hide inhalant use, there are a few things to watch out for. For example, if you find that large quantities of household products are missing, or if your child is quick to use household items such as hairspray, nail polish remover, or deodorant spray, you should investigate further.

You should also be concerned if you find a pile of plastic bags, lots of empty containers, or smelly rags or gloves around the house. Other common signs of the common cold include a rash on the face, chronic sore throat or mouth, and a chemical odor on your breath or clothing.

Other warning signs of drug use may indicate that your child is abusing inhalants. These include behavioral changes, eating habits,sleeping habits, and sanitation. Children who use inhalants or other drugs may start dating other friends,fight at school, Öskip classes.

cold symptoms

Because the effect of inhaling is so short, it can be difficult to tell if your child is using inhalants. Inhalation symptoms may include:

  • obscure the words
  • Acting drunk, dizzy, or dazed
  • Unusual smelling breath
  • smells like chemicals
  • Have red eyes or a runny nose
  • Paint or marker spots on the face or clothing
  • have spots or sores around your mouth.
  • Show nausea or loss of appetite
  • Behavior anxious, excitable, irritable, or restless

Types of inhalants that children can use

There are over 1,000 different substances that can be used for inhalation.According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), some of the most commonly abused products include glue, nail polish remover, markers, paint thinner, spray paint, butane lighter fluid, gasoline, propane, household cleaners, cooking sprays, deodorants, fabric protectants. and whipped cream sprays.


What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (1)

Although permanent markers are mostly harmless, they can be used in dangerous ways. Items such as markers, whiteout, and glue are found in many homes. All of these contain volatile solvents, substances that evaporate in the air. Because of this property, they can be inhaled or inhaled.


What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (2)

Your teen may have a lighter to light candles or make a campfire, but they can also use it for inhalation. Lighter fluid is also a volatile solvent. Lighter fluid can be snorted or inhaled for a fast and dangerous high.


What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (3)

Butane is a highly flammable and toxic gas that can also cause intoxication when inhaled. It is commonly found in lighters, but is also used in other products such as aerosols, lighter refill cartridges, and portable stove cartridges.

Butane can be liquefied, but will vaporize at room temperature. It is the vapor that is inhaled. This is very dangerous and can cause serious health problems like seizures, heart problems, or even death, known as fatal butane toxicity.

laughing gas

What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (4)

Nitrous oxide is found in whipped cream jars, small metal canisters used in refillable whipped cream canisters, and has been used as a mild medicinal anesthetic ("laughing gas"). Nitrous oxide use is common among children using inhalants.

Sometimes whipped cream containers are emptied upright, which allows gas to escape and be inhaled. The small containers of nitrous oxide are often referred to as "whips" (or "whips"). The gas is inhaled with a balloon or directly from the whippet.

spray cans

What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (5)

Spray paint, hairspray, vegetable oil sprays, and other spray cans can all be used for blowing. The propellant forces the product out of the can. The propellant that can cause intoxication when inhaled.


What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (6)

Gasoline is another volatile solvent that turns into a gas when hit by air. The fumes from the gas can induce a high when inhaled deeply for a short period of time.

Amyl nitrate

What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (7)

Ever heard of poppers? Amyl nitrate is often found in small containers with the words "room freshener," "video head cleaner," or "liquid fragrance." These are often referred to as "poppers". Amyl nitrate is inhaled and is sometimes used as ansexual"Amplifier".

compressed air

What you need to know about inhalants and inhalation (8)

Cans of compressed air can be sold as keyboard cleaners and computer cleaners. They are easy to find at any office supply store. They are also used for blowing. If your teen uses multiple cans of compressed air, it may not be because they keep their computer clean. Duster is often inhaled straight from the can to induce a high.

consequences of the cold

Vapors and gases from everyday substances and products can be extremely dangerous and even fatal if intentionally inhaled. This can also be a very addictive habit. Because the effects of inhaling only last a few minutes, many people feel the need to sniff, inhale, or inhale a substance over and over again.

People who use inhalants may also experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop inhaling. And long-term users can permanently lose the ability to perform everyday functions like walking and talking.

The physical dangers of the common cold are many, including kidney problems, memory loss, liver damage, lung damage, attention problems, weight loss, muscle weakness, lack of coordination, and irritabilityDepression.

Because inhalants deprive the brain of oxygen, they can also affect a young person's ability to think clearly. Worse, when your body is starved of oxygen, your heart can beat rapidly and erratically, to the point where it can stop pumping blood altogether. The end result is heart failure.

It's also not uncommon for people using inhalers to vomit and then choke on the vomit. Children who use inhalers can also choke, especially if they vomit or use a plastic bag to inhale. Some may even have seizures. They can also lose their hearing and sense of smell, and have an increased risk of cancer.

The use of inhalants also affects daily life. Research shows that teens who use inhalers are at increased risk for crime, depression, suicidal thoughts, and drug and drug use.alcohol consumption.

6 reasons to talk about drugs and alcohol with children

What Parents Can Do

When children abuse inhalants, they breathe in poisons that immediately enter their bloodstream. This can affect the brain, heart, lungs and other important organs. The effects can be short-term, but can also cause permanent damage or even death.

It's important that you continue to talk to your children about the dangers of drug and inhaler use. The best defense against drug use is being honest andopen conversationsabout the risks involved and why even trying to inhale once can be fatal.

You may also want to keep an eye on inhalants in your household, just as you would with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Ask yourself if they run out too quickly. You may even consider storing items like gasoline, propane tanks, and spray paint in a locked cabinet.

If you find your child is panting, it's important to take deep breaths, stay calm, and not yell or get upset. You also need to keep your child calm. When a person is high from inhalants, stress can cause the heart to stop. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your child isn't breathing, won't wake up, or is having a seizure, call 911.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug use or addiction, contact theSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline.a1-800-662-4357Information on support and treatment centers in your area.

For more mental health resources, visit ourNational Helpline Database.

A word from Verywell

Inhalant abuse is a potentially deadly habit that may tempt young people because of its low cost and easy access. It is important that parents know how to recognize inhalant use and constantly talk to their children about the risks.

If you suspect your child is snorting or being urged by peers to do so, you should increase your intervention efforts and seek the help of your pediatrician or psychologist. Early intervention and prevention of snorting can go a long way and potentially save your child's life.

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