According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, roughly 593,000 teens experiment with inhalants every year. Huffing addictions are particularly common among younger users – many of whom start using at 14 or 15 years old – largely because aerosol cans are easily accessible, and can be found in kitchen cabinets or at the local convenience store.
As Iowa’s ABC News affiliate recently reported, it is essential for parents to stay on the lookout for signs of a huffing addiction in their children, since this form of substance abuse can have detrimental effects.
“They get high like they’re drunk. It’s that sense of euphoria for some people, the loss of inhibitions, the loss of coordination,” says a physician with the Iowa Poison Control Center, Dr. Edward Bottei. Bottei told the source that the center often receives calls from emergency room attendants who are unsure how to handle some of the extreme effects of huffing – such as difficulty breathing.
As well as causing suffocation and impairing healthy brain development, huffing addictions also pose another threat. As Dr. Bottei explains, there is a condition called Sudden Sniff Syndrome that causes a person’s heart to beat erratically after inhaling, resulting in a cardiac arrest. In the worst cases, this can lead to death.
So, to identify this problem before it threatens the life of your son or daughter, the network says to take note of the following warning signs: frequent runny noses, paint stains around the mouth, a dazed appearance and exorbitant use of hair spray or other aerosol products.
If you believe that your child may have a huffing addiction, don’t hesitate to contact Intervention Services, Inc. Our professional interventionists can help you tackle this complex issue and provide ongoing support for your son or daughter as they recover.