Inhalant Information

What is Inhalant Abuse?

  • Inhalant Abuse is the deliberate inhalation by “sniffing” or “huffing” fumes, vapors, or gases from common household and commercial products for the purpose of “getting high.”

  • How prevalent is Inhalant Abuse in the United States?

  • Over 2.6 million children, aged 12 – 17, use an Inhalant each year to get high.
  • 1 in 4 students in America has intentionally abused a common household
  • product to get high by the time they reach the eighth grade.
  • Inhalants tend to be the drug that is tried first by children.
  • “Sniffing” and "huffing" can begin at age 10 or younger.
  • 59% of children are aware of friends huffing at age 12.
  • Inhalants are the fourth most-abused substance after alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.
  • The number of lives claimed by Inhalant Abuse each year is unknown because these deaths often are attributed to other causes.

  • What kinds of products are abused by young people?

  • More than 1,400 common household and commercial products are used for the purpose of “getting high.”
  • Most products used as Inhalants are inexpensive, legal, and readily available in the home, garage, office, school, or in the local convenience store.
  • Products include: computer cleaner, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, glue, and hundreds more.

  • What can happen to children who abuse Inhalants?

  • Children can die anytime they abuse an Inhalant — including the first time — through Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome, suffocation, choking, or a fatal injury.
  • Inhalant Abuse can damage the brain and other vital organs, such as the heart, kidneys and liver, causing brain damage or other severe physical impairments.
  • Inhalants can be addictive and children may progress to illegal drugs or alcohol abuse.

  • What can parents do if they suspect that their children are abusing Inhalants?

  • Seek professional advice! Call your family physician, a school nurse, counselor, or the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).
  • Start young and talk to your children about the safe and proper use of household products and the dangers of Inhalant Abuse.
  • Parenting requires good communication skills. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.
  • Ask where your children are going and with whom. Get to know their friends.
  • Know what they are doing after school hours (3:00pm - 6:00pm are critical hours).
  • Monitor activities and don’t be afraid to set firm boundaries.







      Contact Information

     Sergeant Stephen Owens
     (540) 743-6571 ext. 3382
     (540) 743-1252 (fax)