Most parents lock up alcohol to keep curious teens away from temptations. Vigilant parents even keep prescription medications under lock and key, knowing their teens may experiment with these drugs as well. However, many parents ignore a potent drug that’s lurking in the garage or under the sink. Inhalant drugs, such as paint and solvents, can be a popular choice for teen drug users based on their accessibility.
Inhalants Abuse Signs and Symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, the high provided by inhalant drugs is remarkably short, lasting about 15 to 30 minutes. Since this is such a short time period, it might be hard for parents to spot and confront their teens while they are under the influence. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t signs left behind by inhalant abuse. In fact, there are several red flags that could indicate that inhalants are a problem for that teen.
After a session of inhalant abuse, the teen may:
- Have dots of paint or solvent under the nose or on the skin
- Smell like chemicals or solvents
- Complain of a headache or nausea
- Attempt to discard bags or cloths soaked with chemicals
- Attempt to discard empty aerosol cans
Targets for Inhalant Drug Abuse
Teens may use a variety of different substances in an inhalant abuse session. Some of these substances are so potent, that only a tiny bit can fuel several sessions of abuse. Paint thinners, paint, degreasers and gasoline all fit into this category. But some teens prefer to use aerosol propellants for their inhalant sessions, and they may go through an entire can in a day. Teens who have a sudden need for multiple cans of the following types of products should be asked about their inhalant abuse:
- Deodorant sprays
- Cooking spray
- Computer cleaning products
- Whipped cream aerosols or dispensers
Since most targets for inhalant abuse are found in basement workshops or garages, teens who tend to gravitate to these locations, or who always whisk their friends away to these private spots when they come over, should also be suspected of inhalant abuse.
Parents can do their part to prevent abuse by locking up these dangerous chemicals and talking to their teens about the dangers of inhalant abuse. But, if your teen is already using these chemicals, there is reason to be hopeful. At Newport Academy, we can help teens to overcome their substance abuse issues and learn how to handle stress and have fun without using substances.
Please contact us to find out more about these programs and how we can help.