Huffing, Sniffing, Dusting & Bagging
Huffing, sniffing, dusting, and bagging are terms for using Inhalants. These are common products found in homes and communities that can be misused by inhaling them in order to “get high.” Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens has used Inhalants to get high.
What Products Can be Abused?
There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, glue, and even food products such as whipped cream. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, or school. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times.
Dangers and Effects
Inhaled chemicals are rapidly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream and quickly distributed to the brain and other organs. Within minutes, the user experiences intoxication, with symptoms similar to those produced by drinking alcohol. With Inhalants, however, intoxication lasts only a few minutes, so some users prolong the “high” by continuing to inhale repeatedly. The effects of inhaling can be severe or even fatal.
During the week of March 18, National Inhalant Awareness Week, we encourage all parents to check their homes for potentially dangerous products and consider how to store them in the safest way. It’s also a good time to have a conversation with your children. Educate them about the dangers, but don’t mention specific substances unless your child brings them up. While many young people know kids are sniffing some substances, they may not know the full range of products that can be abused; and you don’t want to give them suggestions. Statistics show that parents talking to their kids about drugs decreases the risk of the kids trying a drug. For more information, signs of use, and conversation starters, visit www.inhalant.org
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Community Coalition for Healthy Youth
320 W. State/MLK Jr. Street
Ithaca NY 14850
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