We are just getting the hang of learning to lock our prescription drugs away and talk to our teens about marijuana and liquor when a PSA reminds us that some teens chase possibly the most damaging high of all: inhalants.
Awareness of alcohol and marijuana use among children and teens and its prevention has long been in the public’s consciousness. Much has been mentioned on television, in school, and on billboards urging kids not to try those substances and for parents to carefully talk to their kids about their dangers.
There exists a threat just as great, although not talked about as much, and that is the abuse of inhalants. They are in your home and in products you use everyday. In fact, there are over 1,400 household goods that can be used by kids to get high. They can cause brain damage and possibly death. Worst of all, parents may not even be able to detect them even if they were right in front of their eyes.
Inhalant Abuse Education and Prevention Campaign
In an effort to provide parents with information about inhalant abuse, The Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) launched its flagship program, the Inhalant Abuse Prevention program. A major component of the multi-faceted operation includes the http://www.inhalant.org website. In support of that site, ACE is launching a new public service announcement campaign.
The most watched episode of the A&E Television Series “Intervention” involves Allison Fogarty, a girl who overcame her addiction to inhalants with the help of her family. The public service announcement(s) will feature her story. Fogarty is actively involved in educating, encouraging, and helping others who struggle with inhalants.
The PSA will debut on A&E, and will be shown on TV networks, cable outlets, and local stations. It will also be available on the internet, on sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and other social media sites.
Inhalant Abuse, Addiction, and Health Risks
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, their studies show that many parents are unaware of inhalants and their potential use by their children. They have data that indicate one in five children in the United States have used inhalants. Most parents do not suspect their child of using them, but there could be a good chance that they are.
Because inhalants are so easy to obtain and are usually available around the house, they are difficult to be detected by parents. When a user inhales a substance, it is very fast acting. Chemicals are quickly absorbed through the lungs. They then enter the bloodstream, which directs to the brain and other organs.
Users experience a high within minutes of inhaling, with symptoms similar to the intoxication of alcohol. Because the high lasts only a few minutes, users have to continually inhale. After inhaling for awhile, the user is less in control and could experience hallucinations or lose consciousness. Even worse, they could die. Some could die from just the first-time use, which is known as Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome.
For those that do not die, but develop an addiction to inhalants, they could suffer from such symptoms as:
• Harm to vital organs
• Liver and kidney damage
• Hearing loss
• Limb spasms
• Brain damage
Help Your Child or Yourself and Get Treatment
Discussing the dangers and risks about inhalants could do much in helping your child from ever trying them. No matter what your age, educate them about the risks of using inhalants and the potential harm they could cause.
If you or a loved one is abusing inhalants, Sunrise Recovery or Sober Living by the Sea can help in overcoming the addiction to inhalants. Please call us today at 866.540.5242 to get help and have all your questions answered and concerns addressed.
- article by Khoi Nguyen