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Teen Huffing - Teens Using Inhalants to Get High

Huffing - Inhalant Abuse Overview and Treatment

Huffing is an increasingly common abuse behavior. Huffing is often associated with teens and young adults. It is considered a drug abuse and an addiction, due to the severe side effects, potential for death, and addictive nature of the behavior. Huffing, huffing abuse, and huffing addiction, is also known as inhalant abuse or inhalant addiction. Huffing is the intentional inhalation or breathing - in of chemical vapors to achieve an impairment or altered mental or physical condition. Abusers inhale vapors emitted from a variety of substances. Chemical vapors used as inhalants can be found in over 1,000 common household products. Common products are products which emit aerosols, gases, and nitrites. Addiction treatment is the most preferred approach for huffing and inhalant abuse or addiction.

Huffing and the Need for Treatment << back to top
Huffing by teenage adolescents, is a growing concern for parents, educators, addiction treatment professionals, and our nation. In an effort to save teenager’s lives, the addiction treatment community, mental health professionals, and the medical community, strongly encourage parents, teens, and families, to seek the assistance of addiction treatment centers, as a solution to the problem, abuse, and addiction to huffing.

Death from Huffing aka Sudden Sniffing Death (SSD) << back to top
Death from huffing / inhalant abuse can occur after a single use or after continued use. Sudden sniffing death (SSD) may result within minutes of inhalant abuse from irregular heart rhythm leading to heart failure. Other causes of huffing and inhalant death include asphyxiation, aspiration, or suffocation. A huffing abuse or addict, who is suffering from impaired judgment, may also experience fatal injuries from motor vehicle accidents, sudden falls, or other unexpected life threatening injuries.

Who Abuses Inhalants? Who is Huffing? << back to top
According to the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, the number of new inhalant abusers rose approximately 158 percent from an estimated 392,000 in 1990 to 1,010,000 in 1999.

The primary user group was composed of 12- to 17-year-olds--over 636,000 had tried inhalants for the first time in 1999. This number is more than double that of the 18- to 25-year-old user group (276,000.) Almost 17 million individuals have experimented with inhalants at some point in their lives.

Huffing and Inhalants are the fourth most abused substances in the United States among eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders; alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana are the top three, according to the 2000 Monitoring the Future Study.

By the time adolescents reach the eighth grade, one in five has tried huffing and inhalants at least once. Prevalence of lifetime huffing abuse has consistently been higher among eighth graders than among tenth and twelfth graders.

In 2000, 18 percent of eighth graders, 17 percent of tenth graders and 14 percent of twelfth graders admitted to huffing inhalants at least once in their lifetime.

Statistics showing higher lifetime huffing among eighth graders may be due to the fact that frequent huffing and inhalant abusers typically drop out of school and consequently do not participate in the tenth and twelfth grade surveys.

How are Inhalants Abused? << back to top
Huffing with inhalants occurs when inhalants are breathed in through the nose or mouth in a variety of ways. Huffing abusers begin by inhaling deeply; they then take several more breaths. Abusers may inhale, by sniffing or snorting, chemical vapors directly from open containers or by huffing fumes from rags that are soaked in a chemical substance and then held to the face or stuffed in the mouth.

Other methods of huffing include spraying aerosols directly into the nose or mouth or pouring inhalants onto the user's collar, sleeves, or cuffs and sniffing them over a period of time (such as during a class in school).

In a practice known as bagging, fumes are inhaled from substances sprayed or deposited inside a paper or plastic bag. Alternatively, the fumes may be discharged into small containers such as soda cans and then inhaled from the can. Huffing users may also inhale from balloons filled with nitrous oxide or other devices such as snappers and poppers in which inhalants are sold.

Signs of Huffing Abuse << back to top
Drunk or disoriented appearance
Paint or other stains on face, hands, or clothing
Hidden empty spray paint or solvent containers and chemical-soaked rags or clothing
Slurred speech
Strong chemical odors on breath or clothing
Nausea or loss of appetite
Red or runny nose
Sores or rash around the nose or mouth

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teen huffing, teen inhalant abuse
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What is Huffing?
Huffing and the Need for Treatment
Death from Huffing aka Sudden Sniffing Death (SSD)
Who Abuses Inhalants?
Who is Huffing
How are Inhalants Abused?
Signs of Huffing Abuse?
Teen Huffing News
Is Your Teen Huffing? Is Your Teen Addicted to Inhalants?
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