Overview of Inhalants / Huffing
- D.E.A. Classification: Unclassified
- Drug Category: Hallucinogen
- Availability: Highly Available
- Cost per dose: Under $1
- M.T.F. Report: 8.9% of 8th Graders Used in 2008
- Geographic Predominance: Omnipresent
- Method of Ingestion: Inhaled
- D.A.W.N. Report: 1,050 Emergency Room Visits in 2008
- Duration of High: 5 to 10 minutes per dose
- Detectable in Urine: Not revealed by normal drug tests
Many parents are surprised to learn that their teens, particularly young teens, are more likely to abuse inhalants than cigarettes or marijuana. Unlike other drugs, the rates of inhalant abuse start off high in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades, and then decrease from there. Inhalant abuse is also one of the most likely forms of drug use to occur in the child’s home. Inhalants are used by more than two million Americans each year, more than 70% of which are juveniles, making inhalant use a significant concern for parents of teens.
“Huffing“, or inhalant abuse, refers to the intentional inhalation of any number of normal household substances. Hair spray, air fresheners and gasoline are just a few of the substances commonly abused. These items are commonplace in stores, homes, workplaces, and schools, which creates ample opportunity for naïve or misguided individuals to use them in order to get high.
Inhalants are legal to possess, inexpensive, easy to conceal, and create intoxication very rapidly. Concerned parents most likely know that intentionally inhaling glue and paint fumes can create dangerous levels of intoxication…but they may not know that hundreds and hundreds of other substances can also be used to create intoxication.
Inhalant use has been shown to have profoundly serious effects on the user’s health. Respiratory, nerve and neurological damage is commonplace. Sudden death is also unusually common with inhalant users. Approximately 25% of experimental inhalant users die on their first attempt to get high.
The 2008 Monitoring the Future Study determined that 8.9% of 8th graders, 5.8% of 10th graders, and almost 3.9% of 12th graders admitted to the use of inhalants. Interestingly, this trend is inverse to most other drugs. Unlike alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, the use of inhalants is most prevalent amongst the younger age groups. The Monitoring the Future Study also found that only 37.5 % of 8th graders and 45.7% of 10th graders feel that using inhalants once or twice presents great personal risk. Unfortunately, the popular perception could not be further from the truth.
What Are Inhalants | Kinds of Inhalants | Common Household Inhalants | How Inhalants Are Used | Effects of Inhalants | How Inhalants Kill | Street Names of Inhalants | Detecting Inhalant Use | Preventing Inhalant Use | Inhalant Facts | Huffing | Overview of Inhalants