I was surprised when I read there were over a million adults that abuse inhalants every year. When I thought about 'huffing' I just always associated this with adolescents and young teens. I never realized that there were so many adults 18 and older that abused inhalants. It's just so sad that there are so many young people and adults addicted to inhalants and so many lives are being taken from this abuse.
A government study was done showing 52% of the treatment admissions that were inhalant related in 2008 were 18 to 29 years of age. 32% were aged 30 to 44 years old and 16% were 45 and older. Crack, LSD, Heroin and PCP use by adults were lower than inhalant abuse by adults which was shocking.
Inhalants are extremely dangerous and can cause permanent organ damage or even death so people need to understand they're playing a game of Russian roulette every time they huff. As stated above, this isn't just a problem with young adults and teens; adults are also addicted to inhalants. Erin Davis is 42 years old and talks about huffing computer duster for a couple of years. Davis started using the inhalant at 38 and is thankful that passing out in the middle of the road forced her into treatment. There are people in every age group that abuse inhalants that are in need of help because they can't stop on their own.
Most parents worry about their children using drugs like marijuana, cocaine, meth or heroin but don't realize how easy it is for a child to start inhaling chemicals to get high. Many young people view huffing differently because it's not illegal. They're extremely easy to come by because every home has some of these products. Parents don't realize that glues, fingernail polish remover, lighter fluids, spray paints, deodorants, hair sprays, whip cream canisters and many cleaning fluids are some of the products used for huffing.
Huffing Freon is not only addictive but deadly, unfortunately this is something many young people do and people are dying from this. A bright teenager named Mario not long ago lost his life because of his addiction to Freon. Mario was a good kid, did well in school and came from a loving family so you must understand this can happen to anyone. His mother was very active in her son's life and did everything she could to help him. Mario's mother sought rehabilitation for her son and also took him to meetings but huffing addiction is so severe Mario just couldn't stop.
His mother Melissa even had her son tested because of the severe burns on his fingers but the tests came back ok because Freon is undetectable. He had all the signs, severe burns on the hands and face and mood changes but the tests still came up negative.
Parents who have lost their child from huffing Freon know just how deadly and addictive this is and they want other parents to be aware. Because Freon is in AC units it's easy to find and it's a cheap high for anyone huffing it. One of the ways kids use Freon is by filling balloons or latex gloves then inhaling the fumes. They don't realize that it causes frostbite in the lungs, they collapse and then they die.
This can be avoided if there are locks put on AC units. Locking the valves would stop a person from getting to the Freon and would save lives. It's sad but many people become hooked after inhaling these products the first time.
Dust-Off is another chemical that people are huffing to get high. Dust-Off contains difluoroethane and is used to clean computers so it's very easy to get. So many young people have died from huffing difluoroethane that there are warnings on the label now associated with the misuse of this product. There are so many products out there today that are just as dangerous and young people and adults need to understand how serious this is.
When you use inhalants to get high or intoxicated you're damaging vital organs, causing permanent brain damage and risking sudden cardiac death. Teens have died after huffing the first time as well as others after continued inhalant abuse. It's not just glue, gasoline and felt tip markers people are inhaling anymore, there's a wide range of products including room deodorizers and hair care products that can be found in any home.