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Children and young teens are most likely to use inhalants. That’s because inhalants are legal and easy to obtain. In fact, you may have many of them in your home right now. Yet these common items can seriously affect your child’s health. In some cases, they may be fatal. Learn the warning signs of inhalant abuse. You may help save your child’s life.
Inhalants are not drugs. They’re toxic chemicals that produce a quick, intense high. Often, users feel light-headed, dizzy, or giddy. Some children use gasoline, airplane glue, or lighter fluid. But over 1,000 types of chemicals may be used as inhalants. Users absorb them by sniffing, "huffing," or "bagging." Huffing involves putting rags soaked in inhalants over the mouth. Bagging is inhaling chemicals poured into a plastic bag.
Suspect inhalant abuse if you notice any of the following:
Paint or chemical stains on your child’s face or clothing
Strong-smelling rags or bags hidden in your child’s room
Sores or spots around your child’s mouth or nose
Nail polish remover
Aerosol sprays, such as hairspray or dessert topping spray
Dry cleaning fluid