Please click here to view our message board Terms and Guidelines.
Inhalant Abuse Prevention
Sign up
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
LtHenry

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, please allow me to introduce myself. I am a 19 year old college freshman from the midwest, I'm female, a musician, I enjoy reading classic literature, and I take an interest in politics. I'm also an ex-inhalant abuser.

I huffed several different things, with a particular affinity for WD-40, gasoline, and paint for nearly a year until I finally quit. I've slipped a few times since then, but have generally moved on to a healthier lifestyle. Ever since I quit, however, I've been thinking and wondering about inhalants in general--How much have I been affected, if at all? If I have sustained brain damage or liver damage or anything of the like, what can I do about it? Many of my questions are similar to Sandyk's, just wondering if certain tics or physical abnormalities stem from inhalant-induced brain damage or not. But, that is beside my point. After lurking on this forum for quite some time, reading the heartbreaking stories of parents who have lost their children, siblings who lost their brothers or sisters, friends who lost friends, and even people like me, who are stuck wondering what they've done to themselves, a bigger question has formulated: What can we do about this?

If you are a current or former inhalant user, love someone who is, or simply have an interest in the topic, I would sincerely appreciate your time in at least reading what I have to say. I would certainly hope that you want to do everything possible to prevent these tragedies from continuing to occur, and I think I have some insights which could eventually help in achieving this goal. 

Inhalant abuse is a serious problem, and more than that, it's unnecessary. These deaths, these injuries, etc, are all completely unnecessary, and particularly heartbreaking due to the demographics to which they are happening: Children. 

"Huffing is the 3rd most abused substance by teenagers and is an increasing problem in today's society. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH/NHSDA), "inhalants had the youngest average age at first use (16.0 years)" and "75% of recent initiates were under 18 when they first used"

You've probably read this statistic before, or one similar to it, but consider the implications. Why are inhalants so apparently attractive to youth? Does the appeal of sniffing gasoline just somehow strike a chord with adolescents? Doubtful. Especially since, with the Internet, health classes, and simply general knowledge, kids probably know (though may not fully believe or realize) the health risks. No. Huffing is nobody's first choice. So what leads kids to it?

Although I am only a student, I'm not a sociologist or anything of the sort, so all of this is based on speculation and personal experience, I think my answer to this question has some validity: Kids huff because they experience a real or perceived lack of access to other psychoactive substances. In simpler terms, kids huff because they can't find weed. Kids huff because they can't drink for 8 more years. This was true for me, and I'm sure it's true for others as well. 

I'm not going to discuss why kids (or adults) feel compelled to partake in mind-altering substances, but I will pose a difficult question:

You would rather have your kid smoke weed than huff glue [or insert chemical of choice], right? 

I would. It's no secret here that huffing can cause an irregular heartbeat, leading to cardiac arrest, in the form of Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome, not to mention neurological and physiological problems as well. Although accurate statistics for a number of people whose deaths were caused by huffing are hard to find, due to underreporting, inaccurate reporting, etc, the fact that it has happened puts inhalant-related deaths above marijuana's zero. 

I'm not going to harp on about legalizing marijuana, but I think inhalant abuse and its prevalence among youth stems from America's fear-based culture, lack of true education, and absurd War on Drugs. 

Well, what can we do?

Though individuals can do little to change the culture of an entire nation, one certainly can change the culture of their home or community. If you're a parent, strive to foster an open atmosphere in your home, one which easily facilitates honest conversation. I'm sure you've heard the rhetoric of talking to your child about drugs, but what should you say? Don't try to instill a sense of fear in your kids, because that's where inhalant abuse comes from. Fear. Fear of the law, or of the social stigma of "real" drugs, etc. Don't support fear. Fear and education are opposites and do not go together. Tell your kids the truth about inhalants and about the other drugs, and if you don't know it, learn it. Erowid.org is a great resource on mind-altering substances, as is simply Wikipedia. 

Largely caused by the Reagan regime's War on Drugs, our culture and particularly our public education system, is more politicized than truth-based, and runs on fear. Health classes do not aim to educate students about drug use, rather, they attempt to scare kids out of it. And while this may work with young, naive children, as kids age, they generally begin to question authority, made apparent by teen pregnancy despite the efforts of abstinence-only education. Kids will get curious eventually, probably even sooner if drugs are portrayed as mysterious and dangerous, and they will try something. Which brings me back to my previous question: What would you rather have it be? 

If we actually educate students, give them all the information, non-biased, no BS, no politics, I would think they wouldn't be as prone to try inhalants. If we de-stigmatize drug use, educate, and reinforce lines of open communication, I sincerely doubt as many kids would be huffing, and if they were, they could at least more easily get help. 

But how can we accomplish this? Well, like I said, if you're a parent, start with the home. Make sure your kids know that they can talk about drug use without fearing the repercussions. But what about schools? As a parent or a student, I would stress knowledge above all. Know what's going on in there. Study the curriculum and the drug policy; make sure it is conducive to a progressive, open, reform-based system, rather than a system which simply punishes and teaches nothing. Write letters to the administration and the school board about their policies. For instance, when I was younger, I tried to purchase marijuana from an older student and got caught. Rather than anything remotely educational or reform-based, I simply got kicked out of school. I tried huffing not long after that. Although schools may acknowledge and even teach the dangers of inhalant use, they may not realize their zero-tolerance drug policies and "just say no" classes and programs actually facilitate it. 

Who controls the public schools? Well, the government. As someone who has been affected by inhalant abuse, your own or a loved one's, I would definitely register to vote immediately, if you are eligible and haven't. Why? Because certain politicians and certain political affiliations will support education-based, reform-based, harm reduction policies, all of which will help reduce inhalant abuse. And some won't. I am of the controversial opinion that legalizing recreational marijuana and lowering the drinking age will both serve to de-glamorize adolescents' views of the substances, thus giving a healthier perspective on drugs in general, lowering binge drinking and other dangerous activity, and also providing safer alternatives to inhalants (though if drugs are not perceived as mysterious and dangerous and therefore alluring, many teenagers may not be compelled to try them in the first place). 

Finally, in addition to providing a safe, open environment at home, being aware and active in what's happening at school, and staying politically informed and active as well, one must also simply keep making noise. If you ever want inhalant abuse to become a real problem on the nation's radar, make some noise! Talk about it! I know some people on this board were trying to get onto Oprah, a plan which would have been tremendously beneficial in spreading awareness. That's how it works though. Talk to people, write articles for local newspapers or school newspapers, write blogs, write Facebook statuses, talk to reporters, write letters to the editor, do whatever you can. Don't be shy about the gruesome details, because that's what gets people to listen to you. Mobilize! This forum is great for providing support for people with the same problems, but let's do something to fix that problem for others, for people who haven't even been born yet. 

Tl;dr: Inhalants are bad, kids huff because they can't do anything else, they can't do anything else because of our fear-based, War on Drugs society and culture, to fix that you should make your home open and free, talk to your school, be active in politics, and always be spreading awareness of inhalant abuse. 

If you want any information on inhalants, the War on Drugs, drugs in general, or social movements, etc, feel free to private message me or just comment here. 

I'm sorry for rambling on and on forever. I've just been considering this for a long time, and figured this was a good place to start. If anybody actually read it, thank you very much, I sincerely appreciate your time and would love to know what you think, about any of it. 

Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy New Year. 

__________________
If you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem.
ladykalimar

Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #2 
All I will say is I wish all my brother did was smoke pot... because as far as I know is and this is a generalization pot doesn't kill.  Huffing over a period of a few months he was ok. but for some reason he couldn't stop and went on a binge and in one week he was dead! he had muscle wasting and his organs began to shut down. He was slow minded and lost almost 30 pounds. I haven't heard of such a fate with a binge on pot. but if I'm wrong please educate me.
LtHenry

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
Yeah, exactly. And yet kids are afraid to smoke pot or drink or whatever, because of the legal consequences, none of which are present if you huff. But huffing, as you said, has way worse health effects, which is the flaw in the system which needs fixed. 
__________________
If you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem.
ClaudiasSister

Registered:
Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #4 
LtHenry !!!!

Would you PUH-LEEEEZ consider running for a Senate seat (preferable Dem.) or for The President of the U.S.A!! I am dead serious. Gawd...I am right there on the money with you in every possible way. Please read all my posts (ClaudiasSister), see my profile, and pleeeeeeeze BE IN TOUCH with me!

I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOU !!!

XOXO,
     Lisa Hart --->> ClaudiasSister (Msg Board Name)

__________________
"When it comes inhalants, your NEXT breath could be your LAST." © Lisa Hart, 2010
LtHenry

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #5 
ClaudiasSister--

Thanks a lot, I'm very flattered you think I should pursue a career in politics. I sent you a message, but I've been told that a few times...

If anyone else has any thoughts or opinions on activism or anything, I'd love to hear them.


__________________
If you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem.
cerrick

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #6 
I love this post, and thank you for putting it on here. I am glad you are well.


__________________
Sister of "Lostgirl"
drapes

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #7 
I am the parent of an adult abuser of duster.  He started doing this when he was stationed in Iraq and has continued to abuse this on a daily basis since then.   He just can't stop!!   He has lost his home, his wife and kids, most of his friends, two cars and his home.   He has been told that his heart is enlarged and covered with scar tissue.   He currently has infected wounds on both arms and staples in his head from injuries suffered when passing out from doing duster.   He rolled his car and crashed a friend's car into the front of a church within the space of a week.   He was staying with a friend, but was kicked out when he got high and pissed himself in their living room recliner.  He has been in jail twice and spent nights in the homeless shelters and had all his belongings stolen.    He suffers from PTSD, but whether this is made worse by his addiction or if the addiction is a result of the PTSD is something I just don't know.  

His father and I have recently brought him to Alaska to stay with us in hopes that we can get him into a treatment program, but the VA is over capacity and we are having trouble finding any kind of program that can help.   He is too old to be on our insurance and has none of his own, and at this point in time, zero income.   On one hand I feel like we may be enabling him by letting him move in with us, but I feel the alternative is to get a call saying he is lying dead in the street somewhere.  

This has had a terribly negative effect on everyone around him as well, to include myself and my husband, his (soon to be ex) wife, his friends and his daughter and step-sons.  I live in fear of finding his dead body when I go home or getting a call from the morgue.   I have to make sure there is nothing in the house that he could use to get high and I have to literally sleep with my wallet and car keys so he can't get ahold of them.  The daily stress is hard to deal with!!

I would appreciate any helpful suggestions or support that anyone can offer.   And to those kids I've seen on here that seem to think that huffing is no big deal I just want to say "take a look at my son and tell me if you still think that.  I really don't think this is how you want to wind up"!

__________________
Trying to cope!
karikar2010

Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #8 
Hi. My name is Kari and i am 19 i have been huffing since my sophmore year in highschool . When i was in middle school it was only markers but i had always loved the smell of rubbing alcohol and then one day in my american history class someone used hand sanitizer and they breathed it in and i tried it and ever since it has been an issue. at the end of my junior year i got really depressed because i was so upset with myself for doing such harmful things to my body and i thought fersure i was going to be stupid because i was killing off so many brain cells and for a while a stopped everything i poured the rubbing alcohol down the drain and i didnt have any more nail polish remover to sniff so i was good. and then it started back up again. i never noticed how horrible i actually felt from the huffing like the head aches and dizziness and even now its extremely hard for me to not do it. but i realllly don't want to do it anymore. i always think about when i am older and i have a family i want to be there for them and it makes me sad. i start freaking out because i think something tragic will happen to me because of this addiction. and even being on this site sometimes makes me really depressed and scared for myself. I know i can quit I just haven't found enough strength in myself to do so yet....
abbyv

Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #9 
I have been inhaling for a few years now, i have had really bad times with it. Sometimes i would black out and hit my head, other times i would just get so high i would start throwing up and now even remember what i was doing.

The worst time i ever had was when i got frost bite on my lips from it. I always inhale it through a towel, and it never was a problem until i forgot what i was doing and i woke up the next morning and i had frost bite on my lips. it was the most painful thing in my life.
abbyv

Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #10 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LtHenry
Yeah, exactly. And yet kids are afraid to smoke pot or drink or whatever, because of the legal consequences, none of which are present if you huff. But huffing, as you said, has way worse health effects, which is the flaw in the system which needs fixed. 


I agree, honestly i dont like to do other drugs because of the fear. but somehow the duster seems safer
Beck

Registered:
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #11 

My thing is keyboard duster.  And I usually have to do it right away so I go in the bathroom and pretty soon I've been in there for 2 hours and before I know it the police are called.  It's wierd....talk about hallucinations.

janesmith

Registered:
Posts: 581
Reply with quote  #12 
Welcome to the forums, Beck.  I'm sorry that you're apparently struggling with inhalant addiction.  The chemicals used for huffing are both physically and psychologically (mentally) addictive.  The hallucinations that you mentioned really worry me.  I don't want you to develop mental illness in addition to the neurological (brain, spinal cord, nerves) damage that may occur.  You'd mentioned that the police were called and perhaps that can be a wake-up call that you need outside professional help.  My friend has a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from huffing at the age of 12, now in her 30s. 

To search for counseling and treatment programs for those with a substance abuse problem(s), and some may have financial (money) assistance for counseling for those without health insurance:  http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ and can click one's state of residence on the map and continue with the search.

For a 12-step Narcotics Anonymous meeting (and the only requirement is having a desire to get sober):  http://www.na.org 

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (and one may attend an "open" meeting if doesn't have a drinking problem):  http://www.aa.org

This site is supposed to have some common mottos pertaining to those 12-step programs including "One day at a time", "First things first" and "People, places and things":  http://www.royy.com/toolsofrecovery.html

Please take good care of yourself and make good, HEALTHY choices in life
janesmith

Registered:
Posts: 581
Reply with quote  #13 
I agree with those who say that education is the key to prevention of inhalant use.  Young people (and older folks) just may not realize the permanent damage or even death that results from huffing.  The products used for huffing are only supposed to be used for what it was intended, but kids or any age might view the "helpful" product, such as adhesive helping something to stick, as okay since they believe that the chemicals are not drugs.  In actuality, the products used for huffing are literal POISONS that were never meant to go through the bloodstream.
oklahoma

Registered:
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #14 

well..im addicted to every high. i did duster acouple nights ago. an i passed out an landed faced first in a curb. lol! Theres no way for me to quit im only 17. Im really good at football an basketball. but no one says nothing because they dont want me to quit sports to get help.

janesmith

Registered:
Posts: 581
Reply with quote  #15 
oklahoma - Thank you for posting about your situation.  Please realize that your health should come FIRST just as they say "safety first".  Seriously, you will be no good for your sports coaches or teams if you're either dead or in a brain injury rehabilitation center.  I urge you to talk with your mom or dad about getting into treatment for drug addiction, if even, on an outpatient basis.  However, the issue with huffing (and teens/adolescents) is that the products used for huffing are so readily available that it may be more tough for someone who is receiving outpatient counseling rather than inpatient (residential) treatment.  Just fyi that my friend has a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from inhalant use at the age of 12, now in her 30s.  Please know that it could happen to you.


Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.

Please click here to view our message board Terms and Guidelines.