What exactly is huffing you ask? The National Drug Intelligence Agency describes it this way:
Abusers, primarily adolescents, inhale chemical vapors from a variety of substances, many of which are common household products. These young people abuse inhalants in order to obtain a euphoric effect and are often unaware of the potential risks, which include brain damage and death. Some adults also abuse inhalants, particularly nitrites. Adult abusers often inhale substances in order to enhance their sexual experiences.
Here's the CNN story:
A new study finds U.S. teens are turning more and more to common household items to get high. Inhalants are the drug of choice for adolescents 12 to 17 years old according to a new report by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The survey estimates about one million adolescent Americans use inhalants. 12 and 13 year olds use them more often than marijuana. Inhalants are liquids, sprays and gases that are sniffed or inhaled to get high. They include common household products like aerosol air fresheners, hair sprays, paint solvents, and nail polish. according to the study, glue, shoe polish,and spray paints were among the most commonly used by adolescents 12 to 15. Inhalants or "huffing" can cause severe damage to major organs even death.
How do you know if your child has been huffing? Dr. Greene's website says:
Inhalants gradually leave the body for 2 weeks following huffing--mostly through exhaling. The characteristic 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.
Start talking with your child about it now. Although huffing peaks between the ages of 12 and 15 years, it often starts "innocently" in children only 6 to 8 years old (Pediatrics, 1996;97:3).
Wow, There really is no way to get rid of all the household products kids could use. The list is just too long. Has anyone talked to their kids about this and if so, what did you say?