In The Know Zone

What are inhalants?

The name "inhalants" describes any chemical that is inhaled through the mouth or nose for the purpose of getting "high." This group of chemicals is huge. It includes volatile solvents (liquids that evaporate at room temperature) such as degreasers, office products, and thinners; aerosol sprays of all kinds; gases used in medical anesthesia or some household products; and nitrites, which are used more rarely among young people.

Inhaling these chemicals generally produces a feeling similar to alcohol intoxication. Some of them also produce hallucinations.

All young people are at risk for this type of abuse. The habit appears to peak in the 7th to 9th grade age group, and children as young as age six are known to use. All racial and economic groups are affected by this deadly habit.

Inhalant abusers cause permanent damage to their brains and major organs, and they also die. Inhaling chemicals is at least as deadly as using any illegal drug.

Because the products are legal, available, and inexpensive, there is no practical way to keep them out of the hands of potential abusers. A more effective method of prevention is simply to inform young people of the terrible danger of misusing these substances.

In The Know: Substance Abuse Pamphlet/ DVD Package
In The Know: Inhalants, Something Deadly In the Air Pamphlet
In The Know: Substance Abuse DVD Package