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Behavioral and Emotional Wellness

Inhalants: What Parents Need to Know

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What They Are:

Inhalants are substances that are sniffed or huffed to give the user an immediate rush, or high. They include glues, paint thinners, dry cleaning fluids, gasoline, felt-tip marker fluid, hair spray, deodorants, spray paint, and whipped cream dispensers (whippets).

Sometimes Called:

whippets, poppers, snappers, rush, bolt, bullet

How They're Used:

These are inhaled directly from the container (called sniffing or snorting), from a plastic bag (called bagging), or by holding an inhalant-soaked rag in the mouth (called huffing).

What They Do:

Inhalants produce a quick feeling of being drunk — followed by sleepiness, staggering, dizziness, and confusion. Long-time users get headaches, nosebleeds, and sometimes lose their sense of smell. Inhalants decrease oxygen to the brain and can cause brain damage.

Using an inhalant just one time can lead to life-threatening health problems, and even cause death.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2010
Originally reviewed by: Ryan L. Redman, MD

License

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

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Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)

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