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Inhalant Abuse Prevention
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asokol

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Reply with quote  #1 
My brother has been huffing for some time. Lately we noticed he has a strong odor. Some describe the odor as a chemical smell, others describe the odor as an ammonia smell and others describe the odor as a cat urine smell. Can huffing make a person smell like that and why would huffing give people that odor? my brother sniffs gasoline and he huffs an aerosol lubricant and premium paint and epoxy remover. the odor my brother has is very strong and won't go away.
asokol

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Andrea Sokol
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Reply with quote  #2 

asokol-

Users often develop a regular chemical odor and/or chemical breath odor as a result of their frequent inhalant abuse. This is a key sign indicating an individual is abusing inhalants. As far as 'why' or 'how' specific chemicals produce their lingering scents on users- little information is available.

All that I can accurately gather from much of the health information I have read is that everything the body consumes must be excreted in one way or another - whether through the bowels, prespiration though sweating, body odors, burping etc.

Does anyone have any information pertaining to asokol's initial post about why certain products give off distinct odors and how these odors remain on the skin?


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Alyssa
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novarah

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Reply with quote  #3 

This is a personal experience, but when i used to huff gasoline my urine had a strong gasoline smell. I don't have any medical sources to fully answer your question..just my personal experiences.

Jarods_fiancee

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Reply with quote  #4 

asokol -

The chemical odor is normal from what I've heard. People who use inhalants - depending on what they are inhaling will obtain a chemical odor. Have you talked to your brother about the dangers of inhalants?
 
JF
asokol

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Reply with quote  #5 

yes, but he doesn't listen. Andrea


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Andrea Sokol
Jarods_fiancee

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Reply with quote  #6 
asokol,

Do your parents know? Can you go to them to get your brother help? Or maybe someone your brother would listen to? Have you shown him this site to let him see how some of us have lost loved ones to inhalants?

JF
QueshiaB

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Reply with quote  #7 

asokol- Please heed the great advice from Jarods_fiancee. Don't give up on your brother! Stress the fact that he can die from abuse. If he doesn't dies he can cause irreversible damage to his body. Let him know you don't want to bury him and want him to get help. Like Jarods_fiancee says how about letting your parents, school counselor or his friends know? That way you won't be handling this on your own, and you never know what resources someone may be able to offer in finding help for him 


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asokol

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Reply with quote  #8 
My parents know, but they just make up excuses for him. I tried to tell him that he could die from them, but he wouldn't listen. Is the fact that my brother is starting to smell like chemicals mean that he is starting to do damage to his body organs?
Andrea

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Andrea Sokol
Jarods_fiancee

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Reply with quote  #9 
asokol,

Not sure on that, but whether he smells like chemicals or not - he's still damaging his body very badly with every hit he takes. Maybe you should show your parents this website? I think making excuses for your brother is pretty ridiculous...sounds like they don't know the true dangers of inhalants. Maybe you should inform them? Stick the computer right in front of them if you have to! Don't give up on your brother...it's a really awful thing to have to think "how didn't I know?" after you have someone you love so much die from this. I know they will be so grateful you informed them...better than losing their son.

Keep us posted!! You're such a caring sister to be searching for info for your brother...you are very courageous! Glad to see that...we need more people in this world like you.

JF
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Reply with quote  #10 
asokol-

To answer your question...your brother's chemical 'odor' does confirm that damage is being done to his internal organs. When he 'huffs'- toxic fumes enter his body, damaging the cell membranes inside his mouth, nose, and throat (which can cause him to eventually lose his sense of smell). The toxins then circulate throughout his body (via his bloodstream) damaging ALL major organs as they pass through- especially the brain.

One of the key signs that a person is abusing inhalants is a frequent chemical odor or smell radiating from their mouth and/or skin. Basically everything we (as humans) put into our body, whether it be food, vitamins, drugs, etc. must be metabolized and excreted from the body in some way. For your brother, the chemicals he ingests are exiting the body via his skin pores and respiratory tract (breathing the chemicals out) causing his unusual odor. However, the toxic vapors exiting the body have already caused significant injury to his vital organs. So just because an 'odor' indicates a secretion of chemicals from the body, it does not mean that the major bodily systems/organs are safe from damage.

I encourage you to read the linked journal article below, offering a more detailed scientific explanation, "a chemical odor is most often present because the abuser excretes a significant proportion of the absorbed dose when exhaling, and the odor can persist on the breath for many hours or days." http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;119/5/1009.pdf
 
Your brother's chemical smell is ultimately a sign- warning others of his dangerous and deadly addiction. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. I hope the information I provided above was somewhat helpful.

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Alyssa
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vm

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Reply with quote  #11 
I have an adult roommate (not a significant other so he has his own bedroom) who seems to be the source of a significant chemical odor that comes and goes (not the smell of alcohol exhalation.)  He has mental health issues and is on a number of prescription drugs for depression and anxiety but I've suspected narcotic drug use for awhile.  He disappears for long nights and then comes back to the house where he sleeps the next day or two away.  This is when I smell "the smell" and I cannot figure out what it is?  Could the smell be from his exhalation of narcotics?

The reason I am on this message board is that I could not find "chemical after smell" as a physical side affect until I came to inhalants.  Also, I recently saw a can of aerosol air for cleaning computer keyboard keys, etc. on his desk and now I am wondering as I read this message board if he has an inhalant problem?

Regardless, I am working on exiting my roommate arrangement with this person but my question is in the meantime can I be affected by the chemical smell that appears to be a by-product of whatever he is doing?  If I thought he was doing something illegal in his bedroom, I would not tolerate it.  I just would like to know that my brain cells are not getting fried as a side effect of his abuse.  I feel ridculous to be in this situation as I could have made other choices than to share house with this person!

Thanks.
vm

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Reply with quote  #12 

PS As I reread my prior post I come off as very self-absorbed because my concern is around me but this person went through rehab in the 80's and is well aware of the path of addiction as well as the steps to recovery.  I have periodically tried to bring up rehab options and in fact pushed him to seek help for the depression via a therapist (which resulted in a variety of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds!) and the subsequent "firing" of the therapist so I don't know what else I can do except part company.  It is very sad.

QueshiaB

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Reply with quote  #13 
vm- I am sorry to hear about your roomate's issues and your current situation.  You should be okay as you're not inhaling a concentrated amount of his chemical smell, and hopefully your house has proper ventilation.

Before you move yourself out of the situation completely I encourage you to speak with him one last time about the dangers of inhalant abuse. Of cousre not in an accusatory way, but as a warning and explaining the dangers of his actions, including the real possibilities of death.



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