University of Missouri Extension

Dangers of Inhalant Abuse

It can kill suddenly, and it can kill those who sniff for the first time. Every year, young people in this country die of inhalant abuse. Hundreds also suffer severe consequences, including permanent brain damage, loss of muscle control, and destruction of the heart, blood, liver, kidney and bone marrow.

Today more than 1,000 different products are commonly abused. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that one in five American teenagers have used inhalants to get high. Many begin sniffing products such as glues, nail polish remover, marking pens, paint thinner, spray paint, typewriter correction fluid, household cleaners, cooking sprays, and deodorants, in grade school.

One of the most important steps you can take is to talk with your children about not experimenting even a first time with inhalants.

Resource: "A Parents’ Guide to Preventing Inhalant Abuse," U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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Last updated: March 09, 2005
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