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Inhalant Awareness

Most teens could probably tell you what the top three abused substances are among teenagers. Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. However, one that is considered equally, if not more addictive and deadly, would not be considered dangerous by most teenagers, unless they lost a friend to it.

Inhaling is becoming one of the most widespread problems in the country. Among Oregon 8th graders reported in the 2007 Healthy Teen Survey, over 6 percent used an inhalant in the last 30 days, 7.3 percent of the girls. In another survey, 9 percent had used these poisons versus only 4 percent having used alcohol.

When chemical vapors or fumes are "sniffed", "huffed", "bagged" or "ballooned" they actually dissolve brain tissue and users can permanently lose the ability to walk, talk, see or hear. Other long-term side effects can include problems with your reproductive system; weaken your bones; and cause serious lung, liver and kidney damage.

Unlike alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, one huff can hurt.  The fact is, one out of three inhalant deaths were first-time users.

There are over 1000 products, including household clears, air fresheners and paints and they're all over your house. Find out about inhalants before your children do. Then educate them. This is one talk you don't want to wait on. You might be a day too late.

Inhalant Awareness Week is March 16-23. For intervention, prevention and treatment information call 800-269-4237  That's 800-269-4237.

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We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't. -- Frank A. Clark

©2012, A Different Perspective™