You tell yourself it’s safe because it’s not a drug. It’s a common household product. What could be harmful about that?
It’s more risky than you might realize. When you inhale household items—such as glues, paints, solvents or cleaning solutions—to achieve intoxication, not only is it considered “substance abuse,” but it is also extremely dangerous.
With over 22 million Americans reporting inhalant use at least once in their lives, inhalant abuse is a serious matter. An inhalant is a volatile substance that produces vapors. When inhaled, these vapors result in a rapid high similar to alcohol intoxication, but very short in duration. Despite the short duration, the hazards are ever present.
Dangers of Inhalant Abuse
Immediate effects include drowsiness, lightheadedness, agitation, loss of sensation and even unconsciousness. Additional short-term side effects can include nausea, vomiting, impaired judgment and an inability to function in daily activities.
Apart from the impact inhalant use can have on your daily life, there are irreversible damages that can result. Some inhalants have the potential to induce heart failure, even if it’s the first time you’ve abused them. In high concentrations, inhalants can result in suffocation leading to death. Convulsions, coma, and injuries can occur during intoxication as well.
Some specific inhalants can lead to permanent disabilities. Toluene, a chemical found in spray paints, can cause hearing loss, liver and kidney damage, and permanent brain damage.
The use of inhalants has increased over the past ten years, especially among young adolescents. Making the situation more deadly is the fact that many young people don’t believe there is great risk in using inhalants.
Prevent others from trying inhalants by learning the facts. Share the information to help others stay drug-free. Some of the indications of inhalant abuse are paints stains, chemical odors, intoxicated behavior and depression. Stay alert to the warning signs and intervene before it’s too late. It’s never too early to live drug-free. If you are looking to be more involved in the fight against substance abuse in and around Pinellas County please visit us online.
About Inhalants (Inhalants.org)
Inhalant Abuse (NIDA)
Commonly Abused Drugs: Inhalants (The Anti-Drug)