According to Drug Aware™ more children die every year as a result of solvent abuse than from all other illegal drugs put together. According to the Volatile Substance Abuse Prevention Organization, the youngest person to succumb to solvent sniffing was only seven years old and the oldest was 80 years of age.
Youth between the ages of 10 and 16 are trying inhalants once or twice, or use them on occasion. Some of those youth are solvent sniffing more frequently and in some cases, continue this into adulthood. Chronic solvent users tend to be in their 20s. This form of abuse is associated with difficulty at school, lack of opportunities, poverty, and in families in which substance abuse exists.
With about 15 to 20 sniffs, there is an instant “high” followed by a drowsy feeling. Some youth experience double vision, slurred speech and trouble walking. Feeling confused and having hallucinations is another effect. Other short-term effects include:
•sneezing and coughing
•rash on the face
•problems with sadness, anger and fighting
Long-term effects depend on which inhalant is used. Some possible effects are depression, irritability, paranoia, tremors, weakness, weight loss and sore on the nose and mouth. Some of these may be reversible, but some damage is permanent. There can also be damage to bone marrow, permanent hearing loss organ damage and chronic long-term use can cause the brain to atrophy.
Since 1972, the renowned Clearbrook Treatment Centers have been providing drug and alcohol treatment programs in Pennsylvania.