Yes, a deodorant. According to a recent report by Alcohol and Drug Abuse Organisation, United States, deodorants are one of the many domestic products that people sniff for their mood altering effects. Inhalants range from gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, typewriter correction fluid to antifreeze, paints, glue, cleaning fluids, and nail polish removers.
As a parent, you may not be too concerned about children playing with room deodorants or glues. But you have a reason to worry. A study by National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, United States, found that third most used substances among 12-13 olds are household products.
Kids can often experiment with these things as they are easily accessible. They are right there at home, they are legal, don’t cost a thing, and most important, anyone can go to the store and buy them.
According to the study, inhalant users often start when they are children or young teens. Some people squeeze glue into a bag and breathe in the vapour. Others pour substances onto a cloth and hold it over their faces. They can also sniff directly from a container or gas tank.
Sniffing is dangerous, and it can kill a person. Repeated use interrupts the flow of oxygen to the heart, and can create an irregular rhythm or even stop the heart from working altogether. The most important fact you need to know about using any inhalant is that it can kill you any time, whether it’s your first time or your third, or your one-hundredth.
The long-term effects are even more scary. Over time, inhalants can dissolve brain tissue, and can cause permanent personality changes, memory loss, hallucinations, learning disabilities, or uncontrollable shaking. Concentrated over time in the liver, kidneys, and bone marrow, the toxins in inhalants can cause serious and irreversible organ damage – prolonged use of inhalants has been linked to several cases of leukemia.
They are all over your house. They are in your child’s school. In fact, you picked some up the last time you went to the grocer. Educate yourself. Find out about the inhalants before your children do.