What is it? Inhalant
abuse means trying to get high by breathing in vapors, fumes,
or aerosol sprays. These are ordinary household products – and they are
Who does it? Usually,
pre-teens and teenagers. Nearly one in five 8th graders has tried
When? Before school.
During school. After school. Nights. Weekends.
Where? Home. A friend’s
home. School. In cars. Just hanging out. Anywhere without supervision.
Why? In the words of
one teen, “Because they can. Because they’re bored. Because they’re upset.”
In short, for any reason or no reason.
How? Huffing. Bagging.
Sniffing. Pouring a product into a bag and breathing it in. Pouring a
product onto a rag or clothing and inhaling. Putting the nozzle into the
mouth and taking a deep breath.
So what? Inhalants
THE POISONS ARE
RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE
…and under your sink, in your shed
or garage or workroom, in your office, and in your yard. They are at school,
in stores and at work.
These ordinary, legal products are
safe when used according to directions. They are poisons if swallowed or
sniffed, huffed, or bagged.
More than a thousand products
can be abused by inhaling. Common examples include anything in
an aerosol can, solvents, and fuels:
The first time, or any time, could be the last time.
happens? Breathing an inhalant is breathing a poison. The substance goes
into the bloodstream right away. Then, it goes to the brain, the heart, and
other body organs. Effects may be short term or permanent – or fatal.
Short term effects:
Dizziness. Nausea. Headache. Confusion. Slurred speech. Lack of
coordination. Passing out.
Long term or permanent effects:
Brain damage. Nerve damage. Kidney damage. Liver damage. Muscle damage. Bone
marrow damage. Addiction, both physical and psychological.
“Sudden Sniffing Death” can happen to anyone abusing an
inhalant. The brain loses oxygen. Stress hormones flood the body. The
heartbeat becomes irregular. Death follows rapidly. This can happen the
first time…the hundredth time...any time. The body never becomes used to the
effects of inhalants.
PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN FROM INHALANTS
Prevent inhalant abuse:
Detect inhalant abuse:
large quantities of household products purchased
Do you find stashes of plastic bags, smelly rags, or empty
Does your child have rashes on the face or a chronic sore throat or
Do you smell a chemical odor on your child’s breath or clothes?
Are there are other signs of substance abuse: changes in behavior,
friends, grades, or grooming; changes in weight or health for no obvious
WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE IS HUFFING
Keep victim calm.
Do not argue with user! When someone is high on inhalants, stress
can cause the heart to stop.
If the victim won’t wake up, is not breathing, or is having
seizures, call 911.
If there are other symptoms, or no symptoms, call the Poison
IF YOU WANT TO
KNOW MORE ABOUT PREVENTING INHALANT ABUSE