Inhalants are chemicals that produce vapors that have psychoactive effects. Adolescents, especially those who may not have enough money for drugs, usually try inhalants. Kids, ages 9 - 12, may begin to abuse inhalants. Abuse usually peaks in adolescence. Parents should be aware that teenage users are found in all racial, socioeconomic, engender groups. Many users come from broken families or families that have been affected by alcohol or drug problems. They may also have difficulty in school such as truancy and poor grades.



The most commonly abused inhalants include:
bulletpaint thinners
bulletspray paints
bulletmodel airplane glue
bulletcleaning fluids
bullettypewriter correction fluid
bulletlaughing gas


There are several methods used to inhale these intoxicating fumes.
bulletSome users soak a rag in the substance, place it against his or her mouth or nose and then inhale.
bulletOthers place the substance in a paper or plastic bag and inhale.
bulletOthers inhale the vapors directly from the container it is in.
Like a lot of other drugs, regular use of inhalants leads to tolerance; this means the user has to inhale more of the drug to get high. And although many people think inhalants are safe, they aren't! The risk for accidents increases when people use inhalants because they do not think clearly, act violently or place themselves in dangerous situations.



bulletinhalant displaces the oxygen in the lungs
bulletplastic bags covering their heads to inhale the substance
bulletinhaling vomit into their lungs while they are high


Chronic users can suffer from serious medical complications:
bulletdeath may occur from depression of the central nervous system
bulletinstant, fatal heart failure (even during first use)
bulletblood abnormalities
bulletdestruction of bone marrow and skeletal muscle
bulletrespiratory damage
bulletkidney failure
bullethepatitis with liver failure