Unfortunately we have come across yet another danger that involves the use of canned air. Huffing is the deliberate inhaling or sniffing of gas, vapors, or fumes to become high.
Some individuals will spray aerosol type cans of chemicals into a bag and subsequently inhale the vapors. The effect received can be similar to mild inebriation, euphoria, and vivid hallucinations.
Different sorts of chemicals can provide different effects or “trips.” A lot of drug users resort to huffing if they don’t have the money for their usual drugs. This type of drug use however is not specific to hardcore users. Lots of young teens who don’t routinely use drugs have tried this for fun. Curiosity plays a big role in situations like this.
Unfortunately, this kind of experimentation can open the door to harder drugs. The damaging effects of this practice can be quite severe. There can be permanent mental and physical damage. The body can be deprived of oxygen and asphyxiation can take place. Some have lost their sense of smell and continually suffer from perpetual nosebleeds. There are recorded cases of permanent kidney, lung, and liver damage.
These gases and chemicals can also cause heart attack due to the lack of oxygen in the lungs. Permanent respiratory issues can also ensue. A person doesn’t really have to be a frequent user of these inhalants to become damaged. If the more powerful chemicals are used, brain damage or brain hypoxia can be incurred with only a few exposures, resulting in an inability to think properly and make sound decisions.
Inhalants tend to be among the first drugs that teenagers try due to their ease of access. Some studies have shown that kids as young as 12 years of age have experimented with huffing. A study conducted by the National Institute On Drug Abuse reported that at least 17% of eighth graders admitted to having tried this. It is quite tragic, but so many kids can be pulled in by their curiosity.
How can you do your part in preventing your child from being caught up in this? First remove unnecessary aerosol cans from your premises. It may still be possible for your child to experiment with friends outside of the home, but at least you’ve taken the “immediate convenience” away.
How can you tell if your kid is huffing? Be aware of breath or clothes that smell like chemicals. You may notice sores around the mouth or chemical stains on clothes. Weight loss, erratic behavior, nausea, nervousness, a failing school performance, and a drunk or dazed appearance can be signs of huffing.
The next best thing to do is have a heart to heart talk with your child. Remember, these chemicals aren’t illegal, they still will be somewhat available. True prevention takes place from the inside out. Getting your child to truly understand the extreme danger and harm of these gases and chemicals will most likely be your best bet.