Huffing refers to the act of inhaling vapors from household products like air fresheners, spray paints and other chemicals. Common among teenagers, research reveals that nearly 17 million have engaged in huffing at one point in their lives. Aside from room deodorizers and spray paints, other products that could be used by adolescents to produce an altered state of consciousness include hair products, nail polish, paint and glue. Huffing entails inhaling the vapors of the compounds straight from their containers or soaking a rag in a substance and breathing it directly. Some place the solvent in a bag and inhale it from there.
Individuals who engage in huffing are called huffers. Whenever they inhale these vapors, they introduce a particular set of chemicals in their body called nitrites. Nitrates like cyclohexyl nitrite, amyl nitrite and butyl nitrite are thought to improve a person’s sexual experiences. Others huff because it makes them feel generally euphoric and make them forget their emotional issues. Huffing produces the same feelings that alcoholics get although the high experienced is only for the very short term.
Unfortunately, huffing can be deadly. In fact, huffing addiction is considered as one of the most fatal of addictions after heroin addiction. Every time a user huffs, his body risks brain damage because the components found in these chemical compounds robs the brain of oxygen. The risk of overdose runs high because the users are hardly able to control the amount that gets into their system when they inhale it. No doubt about it, huffers risk having incurable muscle spasms, loss of coordination, muscle tremors, hearing loss, heart diseases and other health problems. On the psychological aspect, huffing leads to delusions, hallucinations, dementia, confusion, mood swing, depression and impaired judgment.
Here’s another thing that everyone should know about huffing: Those who huff for the first time have the same amount of risk of sudden death as those who have huffed repeatedly. This is because there are chemicals in solvents, aerosols and other household products that can be life-threatening. In short, huffing is poison inhaled.
It’s not really easy to tell if a person is addicted to huffing. However, if your loved one seems frequently disoriented or looks drunk most of the time, has strong chemical odors on his breath, has clothes that smell of chemicals, constantly sports a red and runny nose, has sores or rash in the mouth and nose areas and has paint on his fingers, clothing and face then it’s important to seek immediate intervention before he huffs himself to death. In addition to these, another telling sign that something is not quite right is the missing aerosol cans around the house and finding rags that have been soaked with chemicals.
Time is of the essence if you want to help your loved one or yourself remove huffing from your life forever. Swift action is crucial not only to remove the threat of death that can result from huffing but to institute the necessary programs right away that can start the process of recovery from this kind of substance abuse.