What is Inhalant Abuse?
Leaders throughout New England tell how they
became aware of the inhalant problem.
abuse is the deliberate inhalation of intoxicating fumes, gases
or vapors to produce a mood-altering effect.
are unique among abused substances – they have almost universal
availability, they are legal products when used for their intended
purposes, and many adults are unaware of their danger. More than
1,400 everyday products (including computer air duster, gasoline,
butane lighters and refills, paint thinner, solvent-based glues,
solvent-based markers, correction fluid, and anything in an aerosol
can) have the potential to be abused with addictive and deadly consequences.
that this was a very hidden problem, that people were concerned
about alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, but inhalants? Many
people said, “What is that?” And we would have
to talk about the thousands of household products that kids
could be intentionally inhaling and even cause death.”
Herr-Zaya, Co-Chair, Massachusetts Inhalant Abuse Task Force
and Media Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
of inhalants include poisoning, accidents, sudden death, fires,
and permanent damage to the brain, kidneys, liver, and lungs.
are roughly as many inhalant addicts as heroin addicts in the
USA (source: National Household Survey, 2002).
is no level of safe use for inhalants. Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome
can occur during any use. 39% of inhalant deaths are from first
time use (source: UK
Study of Data from Coroner’s Inquests, 1971-2002)