Blog Report

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blogger Posts About Inhalants After Funeral

My Two Pennies of Denver, Colorado blogged about inhalant abuse last week.

She mentions many statistics related to inhalants, and also other dangers that many aren't aware of:

"Besides sudden cardiac arrest (the most common cause of death from inhalants), huffing can kill quickly in a number of other ways. Motor vehicle accidents, falls, and other traumatic injuries are common and horrible. Others die from suffocation, burns, suicide (from the depression that can follow the high), and from choking – on their own vomit.

When huffing doesn’t kill quickly, it damages the body each time–especially the brain. Huffing can cause memory loss, impaired concentration, hearing loss, loss of
coordination, and permanent brain damage. Chronic use can cause permanent heart,
lung, liver, and kidney damage as well."

As a warning to parents, she explains that,

"Most huffing takes place with friends (although kids who sniff correction fluid in class when their teachers turn away are not uncommon). Be observant of your child and his or her friends.

Inhalants gradually leave the body for 2 weeks following huffing–mostly through exhaling. The characteristic odor is the biggest clue. Be on the lookout for breath or clothing that smells like chemicals. Look for clothing stains. Watch for spots or sores around the mouth.

Nausea, lack of appetite, weight loss, nervousness, restlessness, and outbursts of anger can all be signs of inhalant abuse. A drunk, dazed, or glassy-eyed appearance
might mean your child is abusing inhalants right now."

She also pleads with parents to sit down and discuss inhalant abuse with their children early, because,

"Preventing huffing is far better than trying to treat an inhalant addiction. Talking with your child about it is more powerful than anything else (NIDA Research Monograph, 1988;85:8–29).

Start talking with your child about it now. Although huffing peaks between the ages of 12 and 15 years, it often starts “innocently” in children only 6 to 8 years old
(Pediatrics, 1996;97:3).

Literally thousands of easily available substances can be inhaled, so you can’t keep your child away from them. You can, however, educate and inspire."

The author posted this after attending a funeral for a 20-year-old who accidentally died after huffing. She writes,

"The pain it caused his family and friends was enormous and the loss of the one they loved will haunt them forever. This is a real, dangerous problem. Anyone, even a first time user, can die."

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