Killer Household Products

Harmful drugs could be right under your nose.

Spray paint, gasoline, glue, hair spray, and cleaning products become drugs when their vapors are inhaled on purpose to get “high.” Inhalants are easy to get and are among the most popular and deadly substances that teens abuse.

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The highs and lows

At first, the effects of sniffing or snorting fumes are like drinking alcohol. But feeling giddy and less inhibited lasts only a few minutes. Continued use of the inhalant is needed to feel “high” longer. Breathing in chemical fumes replaces oxygen in the lungs. As a result, repeated use can cause:

•  Death (even from one session of repeated use of the inhalant)

•  Liver, kidney, and bone marrow problems

•  Heart rhythm problems and heart failure

•  Headaches

•  Dizziness

•  Confusion

•  Delusions

Also, the use of inhalants over time can cause health problems that cannot be reversed:

•  Hearing loss

•  Problems with learning and memory

•  Muscle spasms

Signs of inhalant use:

•  Chemical smell on clothing or breath

•  Drunk, dazed, or dizzy look

•  Slurred speech

•  Sores around the nose or mouth

•  Paint or other chemical stains on fingers

•  Empty spray paint bottles or rags hidden in closets

If you suspect that a family member is using inhalants, get medical help without delay.

Action Step

Talk to your kids about the dangers of inhalants. Find out more from www.inhalants.drugabuse.gov.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.

 

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