What are inhalants:
Inhalants are a broad range of household and industrial chemicals that are easily accessed or bought and misused by breathing in their vapors or gases through the nose or mouth to produce intoxication. There are three main product categories for inhalant; solvents; gases and medical drugs.
How to take inhalants:
In Dublin 15, solvent and inhalant misuse is predominantly people under 18 years. There are several ways to consume the gas or vapors to get high. Sniffing or snorting fumes from a container (e.g. glue), spraying aerosols directly into the nose or mouth, inhaling from a chemically soaked rag (huffing), inhaling chemical fumes that were added to bag, inhaling laughing gas from balloons.
Where are inhalants used:
They can be consumed discreetly and as some of the products are normal household items. Some places inhalants are misused include in the home, outdoors with friends and even in school.
Why do people use inhalants:
There are several reasons why young people misuse inhalants and solvents including peer pressure, boredom, escapism from life and problems they are experiencing, a way to cope or simply to enjoy the high of feeling intoxicated.
Effects of taking inhalents:
Some side-effects include fainting, vomiting, inflamed nostrils or headache as well as reducing inhibitions resulting in reckless or dangerous behaviour while under the influence.
Long-term use of aerosols and cleaning fluids can permanently damage the brain. Using alcohol as well as inhalants can increase the severity of inhalant-related brain damage. Death can occur from heart failure or suffocation from using a plastic bag to inhale.
There is little evidence of users developing a tolerance and withdrawal symptoms are very rare. Prevention through education in schools as well as open discussions where lift stories are shared.