Inhalants are one of the easiest types of drug experiences that is available to kids and young adults today. Because of this, it tends to be the drug that is tried first by children, even rating higher than alcohol. It is so common today, in fact, that huffing can begin at the age of 10 or even younger because of the “positive” feelings that it produces.
Facts About Huffing
1. 2.6 million. That’s the number of kids between the ages of 12-17 that admit they have tried huffing at least once.
2. There are 2.1 million people in the US right now that admit they are regularly huffing.
3. More than 22.9 million Americans have abused inhalants at least once.
4. 1 in 4 students in the US has intentionally abused a common household product to get high by the time they reach the 8th grade.
5. Inhalants are the only substance class that are abused more frequently by younger children than by teens.
6. The percentage of children at the age of 12 who know of other kids their age who are regularly huffing: 59%.
7. 593,000 kids will try huffing for the first time in the next 12 months.
8. 22% of inhalant abusers who died of Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome had no history of previous inhalant abuse.
9. In some countries like Pakistan, up to 90% of the children are huffing glue, solvents, or other materials.
10. 54%. That’s the percentage of treatment admissions that are related to huffing in people over the age of 18.
11. 64% of kids in the 8th grade believe that huffing once or twice isn’t a harmful practice.
12. It is estimated that there are up to 200 huffing-related fatalities that occur in the United States every year.
13. For the deaths that are known to be directly attributed to huffing, 1 in 3 of them came from the first time abuse of an inhalant.
14. Inhalant abuse was linked to 15% of deaths caused by suffocation or inhaling fluid or vomit into the lungs.
15. In a 10 year old study, 2.5% of 4th graders had used inhalants at least once the year before the survey.
16. New users of inhalants between the ages of 12-15 commonly abuse products such as glue, lighter fluid, spray paints, shoe polish, and gasoline.
17. 68% of new huffers this year will be under the age of 18.
18. Although 7% of 8th graders will report abusing inhalants in the last 12 months, just 3.2% of high school seniors report the same thing.
One of the tragic huffing facts is this: there is no real way to estimate the number of lives that are lost due to this practice. It is so common that most kids already have a friend or a classmate that they know is huffing and not every child admits or self-reports that they are doing it. After alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, huffing is the most popular method of getting high for today’s kids. This is despite the widely publicized dangers of the practice, including statistics like these.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of Huffing
For parents today, it is critically important to know the signs of symptoms of huffing so that treatment can be immediately sought. An inability to breathe, a loss of consciousness, and the simulation of intoxication are the most common signs and symptoms of huffing. There may also be frequent blackouts, limb spasms, injuries to the nose, mouth, and throat, or unusual cognitive impairments.
Huffing can cause short- and long-term symptoms. Not only can it become an addiction, but it can physically damage the physical body in a number of ways. Because the highs of huffing come from an overall lack of oxygen, brain damage, hearing loss, and behavioral disorder development is extremely common.
Huffing can happen from the nitrous oxide in a whipped cream container. Younger huffers tend to look for easy-to-access substances like nail polish, spraypaint cans, or even compressed air. Keep all containers with compressed gas away from children if huffing is suspected.
Physical and psychological dependence on huffing can both be developed. Withdrawal symptoms from huffing can appear after just 6 hours and include seizures, vomiting, and an inability to sleep. There is nothing that is more valuable than the chance to experience life. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of huffing and seeking treatment immediately, help can be sought and lives can be saved.