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Inhalant Abuse Prevention
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kjatl

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
We have a 14 year old son - straight A student, athlete,  wonderful kid...however, over the past few months we have noted behavioral changes.  He has had several "meltdowns", very angry, physically abusive (to property - holes in the drywall) and has been unable to articulate what is making him upset or angry.  He has been in therapy for several months as we had taken him to a psychiatrist who believes he has some depression and anxiety disorder.  He is on 10 mg. Lexapro and is doing therapy every other week to help deal with his anger management and self perfectionism.

In May, my mother's instinct wondered if something was up as on several occasions I would enter his room and the smell of his body spray was overwhelming.  He said that his room (wet laundry) smelled and that's why he was spraying it.  Now this past month I am seeing ink on his hands and in his bathroom.  This weekened, his father and I went through his room and found 4 permanent markers...one of them had the tip removed.

I am thinking that he has been inhaling body spray and now has turned to these markers.  We are meeting with both his psychiatrist and therapist today and going to confront him with this.

Question...anyone out there had their child inhaling either one of these products?  Did you notice behavioral changes?  Is there a clinical (urine or blood) test to check for inhalants.

This is all so unbelievable...thank you.
Kay

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #2 
Yes, I am running into the same problem with my 15 yr old step son. Something is terribly wrong. Last week my husband had an appointment and after he left we were going to be cleaning my son was in charge of cleaning the bathroom. He went and cleaned and then sat down to watch a movie but then I noticed his eyes were dilate and he was slurring his speech. I went into his room because I knew something was up and it had to be something he could do quick. and I found a lighter under his mattress several plastic bags in his room that he said he needed for a small little garbage can and some felt tip markers. But that was all I could find. When I remembered I had him clean the bathroom and there was a can of Hair spray under the cabinet. I use the pump. I noticed today there was some body spray but it was in a plastic bottle. I thought it had to be in a spray can in order to be used as an inhalant. Now I am thinking I was wrong.
The other day I questioned him about inhalants and the first thing he mentioned was body spray he said it is the number one thing kids use. then proceeded to tell me how it was done. With this description there was no way he couldn't have seen this first hand. This morning I went into his room and found 2 rags filled and a pair of gloves filled with Gasoline. Through school he has started working in a Garage. This whole thing is very scary. His whole attitude has changed as well. Doesn't listen or want to do home work. Sits in class and does nothing. Has sneeked out of his Mom's house at 2am and broke into a home with other kids. Very disrespectful. And everyone say's it's a teenage thing. How does one know when it has gone futher?  We have grounded him and took everything away and it's not getting any better.      
kjatl

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Kay,

Thanks for replying to my post...I have checked daily to see if anyone out there has run into the same thing so it was good (not in a good way, of course) to finally hear from someone!

It does sound like your stepson is doing inhalants...all the signs are there - the lighter, aerosole items, rags, plastic bags, markers, behavioral changes, etc.

As to what we have done on this end since my last posting...we confronted him and he adamently denied it.  So we have removed all markers, he voluntarily brought all of his body spray and any other aerosoles to us and we threw these and other aerosole products away.  I check his room daily and have been monitoring his behavior when he returns from being at friends' homes.  One of his friends parents mentioned to me several weeks ago about finding multiple lighters in her son's room.  That same friend when I ran into him in the neighborhood a week or so ago had a can of body spray in his shorts...makes me think he is doing this and I am not letting my son go to his home (he can come here where I can supervise them). My son's behavior has improved so who knows...hopefully we were wrong? or he is no longer doing this.

I hear you when others try to discount it by saying "that's normal teenager behavior".  My son's personality has changed so much and he has had some very angry (punching holes in the drywall) outbursts that are way beyond "normal teen behavior".  It is very scary when you read about the deaths from inhalants. From what I read there isn't any toxological test that will flag inhalants.  There are a multitude of drug testing kits for other drugs, but not these.  I just think it is going to take diligent spot checks, monitoring behavior and some tough love parenting. 

Thanks for touching base and let's hope that our boys get back on track!
QueshiaB

Moderator
Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 676
Reply with quote  #4 
Kay- To your point of testing, unfortunately there is not a specific take home drug test for inhalants.  This is because most substances which are involved in inhalant abuse do not stick around long enough to detect- even by the most sophisticated labs.
 
For example, testing has to occur with a few hours of use. If someone can obtain a blood sample from an abuser while they are still "high" and you can get a blood sample, rapidly refrigerate it and have a rough idea of what the compound being inhaled is... then you can test for it.
 
Thanks for posting your story, hopefully it encourages other parents to be more vigilant and ask more questions!

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mcdahlman

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #5 

Could someone please tell me if sharpies as a drawing tool are dangerous?  They are so strong in odor that I wonder if they're safe, even if a kid is not using a bag and puposely inhaling.  Thanks.

moderator

Alliance for Consumer Education
Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 160
Reply with quote  #6 
Markers are generally safe to use, even strong-smelling ones, as long as there is enough ventilation. Stop using them if you feel faint, dizzy, or nauseous. Take frequent breaks if you will be using markers for long periods.

For children, if you want to be 100% safe, provide them with crayons rather than markers.
Susan

Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #7 

I have a question and wonder if anyone can help me. I take care of foster children. This weekend we found a glass of water with the marker fluid put in it. Is this used as an inhalant also? I have heard of the rags and gloves but a glass is new to me. Please give me answers if you can. Thanks so much.

moderator

Alliance for Consumer Education
Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 160
Reply with quote  #8 

I have never heard of any inhalants being placed in water before or during use. If possible, find the markers that were used and contact their customer service to see if they've had experiences with this.

peggy

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #9 

I do not know if my message was posted yet. my 14 year old has been having headaches and sleeping alot. He told me that he needed crazy glue for aschool project. Last week he got into the car and reeked like air freshener. Told me that we needed more crazy glue. The glue came in a two pack, he went to his room. Ilooked in the cabinet and one glue tube was missing. Went to his room, he opended the door and distracted me out into the hall. I asked him if he was sniffing glue and he acted real innocent. Went through his room and found markers, paint balls that were alittle bit deflated on the floor next to the paintgun tanks and little silver things, a towel stained with orange paint ball paint which is the color of paint inside the blue paint balls in the room. Do you really gwt high on paint balls? please pray for me to have the words to reach my son, I love him so much ! I will pray for all of you and your family.

QueshiaB

Moderator
Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 676
Reply with quote  #10 
Peggy-

Paint balls should be water-based, no solvents, so it seems unlikely that they could be inhalable.  However, that is a very odd sight.  Have you spoken with your son about this incident since then?
 

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stormfury

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #11 
Paintballs are non-toxic and biodegradable. They are safe to smell, touch, even to eat (in case one pops on your face mask). They are made with the same materials used to make food- gelatin and food coloring. They kind of smell bad (depends on the brand) but that's just the gelatin.

The towel could have been from playing- did he go to play recently? Paintballs stain things very easily, so they could have popped on the floor or just burst in their bags/box (old paint is soft).

 I'm 16 and I've been playing paintball for two years now, just thought I'd help you rule that out.
janesmith

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 545
Reply with quote  #12 
I realize that this post was made almost a year ago, but I'm really hoping that your son did get the help that he needs to stop using inhalants (presuming that he was).  His behavior and the signs all do point towards inhalant use including the sharpies/markers, ink on his hands and in the bathroom and spraying of body spray, an aerosol spray can.  I'm really glad that you were going to address the issue with the psychiatrist and his therapist.  Hopefully, he has gotten some treatment, including the whole family, as everyone tends to be affected by those with substance abuse or other mental health problems and that he has engaged in other positive behaviors and has outlets for handling stress and even boredom.

Sharpies may say that they're non-toxic, however, I believe that it's labeled as such according to government standards and should NOT be deliberately inhaled (or even paint balls or anything else) and only used with proper ventilation (opened windows, doors) as someone else suggested.  A friend has permanent brain damage as well as bone marrow (fatty inner lining of bones that makes blood cells) damage from using an inhalant at age 12, now in her 30s.  The bone marrow damage left her with a grating at the back of her neck when she nods her head up and down.  I'm really hoping that your son has gotten on the right path and is productive and continues to enjoy life.  Bless you for doing some investigating and being a vigilant parent [smile] 


bob_bushka

Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdahlman

Could someone please tell me if sharpies as a drawing tool are dangerous?  They are so strong in odor that I wonder if they're safe, even if a kid is not using a bag and puposely inhaling.  Thanks.

I had a person once put a long black El Marco line on my arm as a practical joke.  I didn't think much of it until about 20 minutes later when I started getting nauciuos.  I went to the bathroom and started some serious marker removal.  and that was just being absorbed thru the skin!

chickenwingsRus

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #14 

OK, I have a question. I thought permanent markers were nontoxic ( but dry erase markers are. ). So even though they smell bad, are they still used to get high? My friend sniffed them, and they acted weird for a while but I think they were faking. How about this, once I was in school and we were using permanent markers for a project, and the next period I felt sick and dizzy. Does this mean I sniffed a marker??? PLEASE REPLY!!!!! Oh and what about teachers? They use dry erase markers ALL THE TIME?? What happens to them?

janesmith

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 545
Reply with quote  #15 

Most of the permanent markers are labeled as non-toxic by government standards but should be used in a well-ventilated room.  When in doubt, seek medical treatment.

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