Teens and Inhalants
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, "a new generation of children is vulnerable" to the dangers of inhalants. In fact, by the time a student reaches 8th grade, one in five will have used inhalants.
Prolonged sniffing of solvents or aerosol sprays can lead to heart failure and death within minutes. Speak with your child about the dangers of all drugs including inhalants and learn the signs of drug abuse.
Types of Inhalants
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are four general categories of inhalants:
- Volatile solvents
- Liquids that vaporize at room temperature, including paint thinners and removers, gasoline, glues, correction fluids, and felt-tip marker fluids.
- Sprays that contain propellants and solvents such as spray paints, deodorant and hair sprays.
- Includes medical anesthetics, such as ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide or "laughing gas," and gases found in butane lighters, propane tanks and whipped cream dispensers.
- Different than other inhalants because they primarily dilate blood vessels and relax the muscles.
- They include cyclohexyl nitritem in room odorizers; amyl nitrite and butyl nitrite both called "poppers."
Risks to Your Teen
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. Inhalants are physically and psychologically addicting and users suffer withdrawal symptoms.
Signs Your Teen is in Trouble
There is a common link between inhalant use and problems in school -- failing grades, chronic absences and general apathy. Other signs include the following:
- Paint or stains on body or clothing
- Spots or sores around the mouth
- Red or runny eyes or nose
- Chemical breath odor
- Drunk, dazed or dizzy appearance
- Nausea, loss of appetite
- Anxiety, excitability, irritability
Reprinted with the permission of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. 2008 Palo Alto Medical Foundation. All rights reserved.
Add your own comment
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- First Grade Sight Words List
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Graduation Inspiration: Top 10 Graduation Quotes
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Smart Parenting During and After Divorce: Introducing Your Child to Your New Partner