We’ve talked before about the dangers of kids getting high sniffing toxic fumes, from things like glue, markers, spray paint, gasoline, and lighter fluid. Doctors recently issued a warning about Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome, death from sudden cardiac arrest any time they sniff – including the very first time they try. According to ABC News, sniffing is often called bagging, dusting, huffing, and glading, as in the air freshener. A recent study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that: More 12-year-olds in North America get high by sniffing inhalants than by using marijuana, cocaine, and hallucinogens combined. Why is sniffing so popular? Because it’s inexpensive and easy to get.
Face it, most households contain something a kid could sniff to get high. However, young teens are at huge risk when they sniff. Scientists at Syracuse University say the tissues and mucus membranes of growing teens are more sensitive than in adults. So kids who sniff are at an extremely high risk for dementia, hallucinations and anxiety, as well as long-term problems, like brain damage, cancer, and damage to the heart, kidneys and liver. Users who try to quit, face withdrawal symptoms, because the chemicals are highly addictive. So, how can you tell if your kid’s using inhalants?
- They may look drunk, with slurred speech, glassy eyes, dizziness, and poor muscle coordination.
- Mood changes are also common. You may notice that your kids just “aren’t themselves.”
- Keep an eye out for physical evidence, like empty aerosol containers, rags, plastic bags, and clothing that has strange odors or stains.
If you suspect your child is abusing any sort of drug or doing anything dangerous, seek medical and psychological help immediately. Your intervention could literally save their life. You can find a therapist at Therapists.PsychologyToday.com. Know this – preventing a problem is easier than trying to fix one. So get your kids into activities they enjoy. Kids who are involved in extra-curricular activities are less likely to try to get high in the first place.