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How common is inhalant abuse among teens?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Inhalant abuse (called "huffing") is intentionally inhaling a chemical vapor of some type to attain a "high" or euphoric effect. The primary population of inhalant abusers are kids 12 to 17 years old, and the activity is more common than you may realize. Hundreds of common household products have the potential to be inhaled. Spray paint, rubber cement, whipped cream canisters, hair sprays, deodorant, hair care products, laughing gas (nitrous oxide), paint thinner, glue, nail polish remover, cleaning sprays (like Dust-Off) felt-tip markers, or even gasoline are just a few examples of products kids have been inhaled. Males and females are equally likely to initiate inhalant use. Huffing is the third most abused substance by teens. The 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that 18% of eighth graders admitted having used inhalants (huffing) at least once in their lifetime.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.