Huffing is a term given to an activity that involves intentionally breathing in chemical fumes in order to get high. After a young fourteen year old died recently I realized that parents may not be aware that the abuse of inhalants is still quite prevalent and a topic that needs to be discussed more in depth with their children.
Aria was a beautiful bright young honor student in the 8th grade and had dreams of becoming a surgeon someday. She died after inhaling compressed air which is a product that's commonly found in most households today if they have a computer. Aria was found lying in bed by her older sister. Aria had her nose taped shut with a container of computer duster "still attached to her mouth" according to NBC News. Aria's parents believe this was the first time their daughter had ever huffed and I can't imagine how devastating this has been for this family.
This is a trend that's been going on for a long time and many people have died from huffing chemical vapors. Aria's life was sadly taken suddenly due to huffing computer cleaner but hopefully this article will save another child's family from going through this unimaginable and devastating loss.
Inhaling vapors from common everyday products we have in our homes is still one of the ways many young people are experimenting with to get high. Huffing chemical vapors may seem like an innocent and legal way of getting high to young people but they don't realize the serious harm they're doing to themselves. It's important that parents don't forget to include inhalant abuse when they're talking with their children about alcohol and drug use because this is more common today than they may think.
Years ago we often heard about people sniffing glue or breathing in gas fumes to get high, but today there's a variety of products kids are using that produce mind altering effects when the fumes are inhaled. These vapors are extremely toxic but because adolescents don't understand how dangerous this activity is, there's a good chance they're going to try it.
Inhalants are chemical vapors that are breathed in for the purpose of getting high or intoxicated and various products contain these toxic fumes that are very accessible today for kids to obtain. There are different types of inhalants people intentionally breathe in when they want to get high and there's a variety of ways they're abused.
- Volatile Solvents
- Paint thinner
- Paint remover
- Lighter fluid
- Dry cleaning fluids
- Felt tip marker fluid
- Correction fluids
- Electronic contact cleaners
Forms of Aerosols Abuse
- Spray paint
- Aerosol fabric protector
- Vegetable oil spray
- Aerosol computer cleaning products
Forms of Gases Abused
- Propane tanks
- Butane lighters
- Aerosol whip cream dispensers
- Refrigerant gases (refrigerators and air conditioners)
The high that's achieved from inhaling chemical vapors doesn't last very long so a person usually continues to repeat their inhalations over the course of a few hours in order to maintain a longer lasting high. It's true that a person can die from abusing inhalants even if it's their first time experimenting with them but sadly kids don't realize how easily this can happen.
Huffing depending on the inhalant used can damage major organs such as the brain, heart and liver and even first time users have had to be hospitalized due to serious complications resulting from inhaling these toxic fumes. Sudden sniffing death can occur at any time when a person is inhaling large amounts of these dangerous chemicals found in aerosol sprays or solvents because they can cause heart failure within minutes.