Inhalant Abuse in Teens

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Inhalant Abuse in Teens

Children sniffing glue and markers in elementary school may not be as innocent as it seems. Inhalant abuse is on the rise, and because the inhalants are legal, this can become quite dangerous.

Inhalant abuse is the consistent sniffing of household products in order to get high. These products include cleaning items such as bleach or Windex, and other common items like sharpies. About 23 million Americans have experimented with sniffing some sort of inhalant in their lifetime. This experimentation usually occurs between the ages of 12 and 15.

People inhale the products by sniffing straight from the container or spraying into the nose or mouth. Some even go as far as spraying the products into a bag or rag and inhaling off of those. The inhalants sometimes cause a pleasurable effect to the nervous system, similar to intoxication from alcohol. However, this only lasts minutes, so it needs to be repeated. Repeatedly inhaling these products can lead to Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. Other side effects include slurred speech, slow movement, dizziness, hallucinations and agitation

There are signs to recognize when a child is abusing inhalants. These signs include chemical smells on clothing, attendance changes and drowsiness