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Article Summary

Abuse of Common Household Products By Teens

Today, many teens are experimenting with an array of toxic substances. You many worry about your son or daughter trying cocaine, meth, or heroin. Those are very dangerous drugs but more often these days' teens have begun to abuse common household products. These include items such as the white out on your desk, or the paint thinner in your utility closet.

Abuse On The Rise

Abuse of common household products by teens and pre-teens has steadily increased since the 1980's. This is because paint thinner, spray paint, solvents, rubber glue, and household cleaners are far more accessible and inexpensive than prescription or illegal drugs. These products are more likely to be abused by kids in the 12-17 year age range group because they can easily get them at home or purchase them at any grocery store. Generally household inhalants are the first items teens use to get high; these kids are also more likely to try illicit drugs, such as meth, cocaine, and marijuana according to health experts.

Today, there are more than 1000 household products that teens use to get high. Some of these products include: typewriter correction fluid, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, various types of glue, gasoline, deodorant spray, fabric protector spray, whipping cream aerosols, hair spray, and household cleaners. Not only are these items available in the home, teens can walk into any grocery store, hardware store, or pharmacy and purchase them with no questions asked.

The abuse of common household products by teens is most commonly done by "sniffing" them through the nose or mouth, either by snorting fumes from containers or spraying aerosols directly into the nose or mouth. They may also "huff" these products by soaking towels or rags and pressing the rags to their mouths. Another method is "bagging," where the fumes from chemicals are poured into plastic or paper bags and then inhaled.

Teens who abuse common household products often look and act as if they are intoxicated from drinking alcohol.

Signs of Household Product Abuse

  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Excitation followed by drowsiness
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Slurred speech

Many of these users continue to sniff or huff in order to prolong the high. This can lead to loss of consciousness and even death. Many of those who abuse common household products have no idea that they can die anytime they abuse household products ? even the first time. This is called Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. Those who don't die may become brain damaged or suffer kidney failure. If you suspect your child is abusing household products, seek professional help immediately. Educating parents and children about the dangers of sniffing chemicals is the most effective prevention tool. Open discussion now can help prevent a tragedy in the future.

Warning Signs of Abuse

  • ?chemical smells coming from their child's breath or clothing
  • glassy/glazed eyes
  • loss of appetite
  • missing household products
  • signs of paint or other products on the face or fingers

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