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Inhalant Abuse Prevention
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tnredhead67

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Reply with quote  #1 

My best friend's neighbor is constantly inhaling that compressed gas duster.  My friend really cares about this guy and has cried on my shoulder about it.  We are all adults (she and I are early 40s and I think her neighbor is in his 30s), but I've never had any experience with this sort of thing and I don't know where to start.  She has tried to talk to him about going into some kind of rehap program, and he says he did that about 10 years ago and was 'clean' until about 1 year ago.  But he doesn't seem interested in trying again.  Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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Alliance for Consumer Education
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Reply with quote  #2 
That's a really tough situation - even more so because your friend's neighbor is an adult, rather than a child or teenager. Are you close with her neighbor? If not, perhaps your friend could find time to sit down with him and bring up her concerns.

About the 'compressed gas duster' - it contains a chemical, either difluoroethane or tetrafluoroethane, and when inhaled can replace the oxygen going to the brain and lungs, which is what causes the high. This is very dangerous, both in the short and long term. There have been many cases where people have died the first time after inhaling dusters and many more who have died years later.

Your friend could start off a conversation like this: "I know that this is probably difficult to talk about, but I've been really worried about you lately since you've been inhaling the compressed gas. I know how dangerous it is and I don't want anything to happen to you. Could we talk about it?"

She could then listen to him and see if there's a reason that he has started abusing dusters again, and offer to give him any help he needs to locate a program nearby that could provide support for this kind of addiction. Does he know of the physical dangers of inhaling dusters?

Letting the neighbor know that you care about him and his well-being may be the only thing that you can do right now, as sad as that is. But at least in the future he'll remember your kindness and may take you up on your offer.

- Alaina
QueshiaB

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Reply with quote  #3 
tnredhead67- Any idea what happened to him a year ago which brought him back to abusing? Maybe solving that problem would help in curbing his inhalation.

Many adults are under the impression that inhalant abuse is just a teen problem and abusing will not hurt them. They are wrong! Either way, as previously suggested, it is very important to talk to him.  It is important to stress the same dangers a 14 year old abuser faces are the same dangerous effects a 40 year old abuser may face.

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