Sharp Advice: Inhalants - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/4/07

Sharp Advice: Inhalants

We know about illegal drugs, Ecstasy, Cocaine, Marijuana, and it's easy to warn our kids about that kind of danger. But what about the stuff that's not illegal but can be just as dangerous?

Did you know there are over a thousand household products that kids can abuse to get high. Think about it. Even something simple like nail polish can become dangerous if it is used the wrong way and the list is long. We have stuff all over our houses that kids can use for a cheap high. Everything from gasoline and paint in the garage, to stuff you may keep in your child's room like glue and felt tip markers.

A recent national survey indicates one in five children have experimented with household products to get a buzz with inhalant abuse occuring most often in the eighth grade.

Dr. Robert Gee says these household highs can be extremely dangerous whether something is used regularly or just that one night. The effect will only last for a few minutes, so the person will continue the use to keep that high, which can lead to sudden inhalation death syndrome. They're very toxic so they can have an effect on all the major organs, including the liver, the brain and lungs and other body systems.

Dr. Gee says with the increase in technology, we have new culprits to blame. Dust-off and other aerosols used to clean computers and commonly used by kids to get high. Spray paint is another trigger. Dr. Gee says watch for gold or silver spots on the face or hands. Those paint colors are preferred because they have a higher level of toxicity.

So, here are other signs to watch for signs of inhalant abuse:

  • Red or blurry eyes
  • Slurred Speech
  • Chemical Odor
  • Irritability
  • Disoriented Appearance

The most important thing we can do to protect kids from inhalant abuse is to talk to them about it. Make sure they understand that common household products can become very dangerous if you purposely breathe them into the nose or mouth.

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