What is it?
Inhalants are ordinary household products that are inhaled or sniffed
by children to get high. There are hundreds of household products on the
market today that can be misused as inhalants.
does it look like?
Examples of products kids abuse to get high include model airplane glue,
nail polish remover, cleaning fluids, hair spray, gasoline, the propellant
in aerosol whipped cream, spray paint, fabric protector, air conditioner
fluid (freon), cooking spray and correction fluid.
is it used?
These products are sniffed, snorted, bagged (fumes inhaled from a plastic
bag), or "huffed" (inhalant-soaked rag, sock, or roll of toilet
paper in the mouth) to achieve a high. Inhalants are also sniffed directly
from the container.
are its short-term effects?
When inhaled via the nose or mouth into the lungs in sufficient concentrations,
inhalants can cause intoxicating effects. Intoxication can last only a
few minutes or several hours if inhalants are taken repeatedly. Initially,
users may feel slightly stimulated; with successive inhalations, they
may feel less inhibited and less in control; finally, a user can lose
consciousness. Other effects include headache, muscle weakness, abdominal
pain, severe mood swings and violent behavior, numbness and tingling of
the hands and feet, nausea, hearing loss, limb spasms, fatigue, and lack
are its long-term effects?
Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol
sprays can directly induce heart failure and death. This is especially
common from the abuse of fluorocarbons and butane-type gases. High concentrations
of inhalants also can cause death from suffocation by displacing oxygen
in the lungs and then in the central nervous system so that breathing
ceases. Other irreversible effects caused by inhaling specific solvents
are hearing loss, limb spasms, central nervous system or brain damage.
Serious but potentially reversible effects include liver and kidney damage
and blood oxygen depletion.
Death from inhalants usually is caused by a very high concentration of
fumes. Deliberately inhaling from an attached paper or plastic bag or
in a closed area greatly increases the chances of suffocation.
is its federal classification?
Inhalants are legally sold products.
are the signs/symptoms of abuse?
Symptoms include red, glassy or watery eyes, slow, thick slurred speech,
disorientation, general drunken appearance, complaints of headaches and
nausea, chemical odor on the body or clothes, chemical odor in the room,
staggering gait and uncoordination, inflamed nose, nosebleeds, and rashes
around the nose and mouth, loss of appetite, and paint on hands or around