Parents, Know the Facts! - Inhalants


WHILE OTHER MISUSED SUBSTANCES CAN BE INHALED, THE TERM INHALANTS REFERS TO THE VARIETY OF SUBSTANCES THAT PEOPLE TYPICALLY TAKE ONLY BY INHALING


Solvents; aerosol spray; gases; and nitrites are all examples of these substances. Psychoactive (mind-altering) qualities may be experienced when inhaling these harmful chemicals. Inhalants are the only class of substances that is more popular with younger teenagers than older teens.


Forms of inhalants: a wide range of common household and office supplies, such as spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning solutions.


PARAPHERNALIA

Unfortunately, the majority of paraphernalia used in inhalant use/misuse is common household objects that parents may not immediately recognise as paraphernalia items. Plastic bags, paper bags, bandanas or scarves, clothing, cotton balls or cotton swabs, cloth diapers, soda cans, balloons, cardboard box, and/or aerosol cans.


If you discover any of these products among your teen's possessions, keep an eye out for peculiar markings around their mouth or nose, or if their clothing or hair have a strange chemical scent.


EFFECTS OF INHALANTS

There is no safe level of drug use. The effects of any drug (including inhalants) vary from person to person.

The following effects may be experienced:


Initial “rush” or “high”, excited, euphoric, feeling of wellbeing, lowered inhibitions, giggling and laughing, agitated, uneasy and aggressive, hallucinations and delusions, confusion and disorientation

impaired judgement, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, drowsiness, headaches, drowsiness, bloodshot, glazed eyes, blurred vision, nosebleeds, runny nose, sneezing, unpleasant breath, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, impaired coordination and muscle control (ataxia)


WITHDRAWAL

Withdrawal symptoms generally present within the first 24 to 48 hours after the last use.

These symptoms can include:


Hand tremors, irritability and agitation, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, runny eyes or nose, nausea, vomiting, cravings, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, psychosis, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, restlessness, mood changes, poor memory, difficulty concentrating, anger outbursts.


LONG TERM EFFECTS

Loss of sense of smell and hearing, problems with blood production (which may result in problems such as anaemia), irregular heartbeat and damage to the heart muscle, forgetfulness and memory impairment, liver and kidney damage, indigestion, stomach ulcers, irritability, hostility, feeling depressed or feeling persecuted, reduced attention and ability to think clearly and logically, chest pain or angina, pimples around the mouth and lips, pale appearance, tremors, weight loss, tiredness, excessive thirst

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