Inhalant drug abuse
Inhalant drug abuse is known as the abuse of chemical inhalants to achieve a feeling of euphoria, intoxication, or in other words a “high”. Inhalant drug abuse is better known as “huffing” for the way in which the chemical inhalants are used. There are thousands of commercial, household, and medical products that can use for huffing or inhalant drug abuse. Inhalant drug abuse can become addicting although its more grave effects are permanent brain damage, organ damage or even sudden death.
Inhalant drug abuse is extremely popular among younger teens and children. Huffing or inhalant drug abuse is an extremely common form of getting “high. Inhalant drug abuse or huffing is the fourth common abused substance used by young teens or children from grades 8-12 right after alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes. Around 17 million Americans have experienced inhalant drug abuse or huffed at least once in their lives and by 8th grade one in five young teens or children has experimented with inhalant drug abuse at least once.
There are multiple types of different chemical inhalants that can be used for huffing. Inhalant drug abuse can be explained for being so common by the ease and availability in which each inhalant can be found. The types of inhalants that are used for huffing can be separated into four different categories: Gases, nitrates, aerosols, and volatile solvents. All of these categories of inhalants when used severely affect the central nervous system of a person. Some of the most common volatile solvents for inhalant drug abuse are but not limited to:
- Dry cleaning fluid
- Felt tip markers
- Paint remover and Paint thinner
Some of the aerosols which are more common around the household kitchen etc. that are used for inhalant drug abuse are but not limited to:
- Spray deodorant
- Spray paint
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- Hair spray
Gases are probably the hardest to acquire for those who are huffing. Some of the gases that are used for inhalant drug abuse are but not limited to:
- Nitrous Oxide also known as “whip its”
- Butane (lighters)
- Whip Cream containers which also contain nitrous oxide
Almost all of these chemicals used for inhalant drug abuse cause intoxication and euphoria. Nitrates are an exception with huffers or inhalant drug abusers describing huffing nitrates as increasing sexual function and/or sensations. Some nitrates can be found in household products but most are prescribed or illegal. For instance some nitrates used for inhalant drug abuse are but not limited to:
- Cyclohexyl nitrate (room deodorizers)
- Butyl nitrate (illegal street drug)
- Isoamyl/amyl nitrate (prescription drug for heart pain) These are also sold on the street and are known as “poppers”
The way inhalant drug abuse works is the chemicals listed above are inhaled and absorbed through the lungs and from there move throughout the body and into the brain within minutes. The person due to inhalant drug abuse may experience slurred speech, act dizzy or drunk, and euphoria. Inhalant drug abuse only last for a few minutes or even seconds. There are multiple health risks that come along with inhalant drug abuse of huffing and they are but not limited to:
- Attention problems
- Brain and nervous system damage
- Death by choking
- Death by suffocation
- Muscle weakness
- Impaired judgment
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatal accidents
Inhalant drug abuse can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Sometimes a person due to inhalant use can “huff” once and die. This is known as a sniffing death or sudden death due to huffing inhalants.
Inhalant drug abuse is something that is not widely recognized as being a problem it is good to get the facts and to be educated especially if you children.