GP News Vol 10, Issue 1
NODA Area Agency on Aging
2901 North Van Buren, Enid, OK 73703
580-237-2236 or 800-749-1149
The Comfort of Home®
"CARING FOR YOU... CARING FOR OTHERS"
Dangers in the Kitchen Cabinet
"Huffing," or inhaling volatile
substances, is becoming increasingly-
popular among children, especially
12 to 14 year olds. It is the deliberate
inhalation or sniffing of common
products found in homes with the
purpose of "getting high."
One in five students in America
has used an inhalant to get high by
the time he or she reaches the eighth
grade. Parents and guardians don't
know that inhalants are as popular
among middle school students as
marijuana. Even fewer people know
the deadly effects the poisons in these
products have on the brain and body
when they are inhaled or "huffed."
Huffing can kill the very first time
children experiment with it. About 22%
of those who die from huffing do so the
first time they try it. Besides sudden
cardiac arrest (the most common cause
of death from inhalants), huffing can
kill quickly in a number of other ways.
Motor vehicle accidents and other
traumatic injuries are common. Others
die from suffocation, burns, or suicide.
When huffing doesn't kill quickly,
it damages the body each time—
especially the brain. Huffing can cause
memory loss, impaired concentration,
hearing loss, loss of coordination, and
permanent brain damage. Chronic use
can cause permanent heart, lung, liver,
and kidney damage as well.
Watch your teen for signs of
inhalant abuse. The chemical odor
is the biggest clue. Be on the lookout
for breath or clothing that smells like
chemicals. Look for clothing stains.
Watch for spots or sores around the
mouth. Nausea, lack of appetite,
weight loss, nervousness, restlessness,
and outbursts of anger can all be signs
of inhalant abuse. A drunk, dazed, or
glassy-eyed appearance might mean
your child is abusing inhalants.
If you suspect or discover that you
child is huffing, get professional
help. Treating inhalant abuse is
very difficult and requires expert
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; www.lnhalant.org; www.drgreene.com
Air conditioning coolant, gasoline,
propane, felt tip markers, spray
paint, air freshener, butane,
cooking spray, paint, and glue.
Most can be found in the home,
garage, office, school or the local