In Articles, Drug Rehab, Family Resources, Sober Living

Huffing drugs has become an increasing trend among the youth.

You may have heard side conversations about it or heard it mentioned on the news, but you probably still have a lot of questions. What is huffing? Is it dangerous? Why do people do it? Our Pennsylvania addiction treatment center is here to answer all of your questions.

What Is Huffing?

Huffing is the act of recreationally inhaling chemicals in order to get high. Huffing drugs is usually done by soaking a cloth or rag in chemicals and then holding it up to your nose or mouth. It is a form of inhalant abuse and can involve a variety of liquids or gases such as aerosols, paint thinners, glue, gasoline, and household cleaners.

Inhalant Abuse

Huffing is a bigger problem than a lot of people realize. While many people are focused on the opioid epidemic and getting their loved ones opioid addiction treatment, huffing is often forgotten, but it is deadly. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 21.7 million Americans aged 12 and older have used inhalants at least once in their life.1 Inhalant use seems to be the biggest problem among the youth. Those under 18 are more likely to abuse inhalants at 2.7% than the rest of the US population at just 0.4%.2 One of the problems with inhalant abuse is that people use everyday objects, so it can be hard to not only recognize when there is a problem, but also to stop it.

Signs of Huffing Drugs

If you suspect your loved one is huffing drugs, look for these warning signs.

Signs of huffing inhalants include:

  • Empty containers of common inhalants hidden or around the house
  • The disappearance of common household inhalants
  • Cloths or rags with residual chemicals
  • Chemical smells on clothes or in the home
  • Paint or chemical stains on clothes or skin
  • Mouth sores or facial rash
  • Noticeable decline in health or personal hygiene
  • Drunken or high behaviors

Dangers of Huffing Drugs

Huffing is extremely dangerous. When people are huffing drugs, they are huffing inhalants. Like other drugs, inhalants can affect both the mind and body. Huffing can cause long-lasting damage to the body and even be deadly.

The health effects of huffing drugs include:

  • Death from heart failure or asphyxiation
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lightheadedness or headaches
  • Disorientation and even hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Poor coordination
  • Depression and mental health problems

Along with damage to the heart, liver, lungs, brain, and kidneys, huffing can cause immediate death from heart failure or suffocation as the chemicals overtake the lungs. Even one time of huffing can be deadly.

If your loved one is engaging in huffing or abusing drugs, get them to help immediately. Our Pennsylvania inpatient detox center is here to help your loved one get over their addiction and move forward with their life. To get more information about our programs and to get started, contact us today at 570-536-9621.



  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse- Inhalants- Letter from the Director
  2. SAMHSA- The CBHSQ Report- Understanding Adolescent Inhalant Use
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