National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week

National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week, March 19 - 25, 2017

Inhalants are ordinary school, household and office products that are inhaled or sniffed for their mind-altering effects. Check out this Free NH on-line training: and flyer for parents.

Consider These Facts

  • Children as young as nine have tried inhalants after hearing about them from friends or adults.
  • 1 in 5 kids have used an inhalant to get high by the time he or she reaches the eighth grade.
  • Abuse may start as early as the third grade and peaks among eighth and ninth graders.
  • Older youth may use inhalants with other drugs or when other drugs are not available.

Why Youth Abuse Inhalants

  • Inhalants are difficult to detect.
  • Many children are not aware of how dangerous these products are.
  • Inhalants take effect very quickly.
  • Many adults are not aware of inhalants, so use may go unnoticed.

Know the Dangers of Inhalant Use

  • Breathing these gases and vapors can cause brain, nerve, kidney and liver damage.
  • Death can result from even one-time use.
  • Some children have accidents, choke to death or have heart attacks.
  • Inhalants can be addictive. Once used on a regular basis, it is hard to stop without special help.

Here’s How You Can Help Prevent Inhalant Abuse

  • Teach your kids to read and follow the directions for use on all product labels. Let them know you read directions and see you follow them. Always open a window when you use products that suggest you use them in a well-ventilated area.
  • Identify products that can be abused and treat them as poisons, often they will be labeled "keep out of the reach of children" or "use in a well ventilated area." When in doubt, keep them in a safe place and be there if they need to be used by your kids.
  • Don’t discuss specific products. This may lead to curiosity and increased experimentation. Avoid making the connection that these products can be used as drugs and always stress that these products are dangerous poisons, toxins, and pollutants.
  • Stay informed:

Some Warning Signs of Inhalant Abuse:

  • Empty product containers, especially butane lighters and aerosol cans.
  • Chemical soaked bags, rags, gauze, or soft drink cans.
  • Paint, gasoline, glue, or other strange odors.

Behavioral Signs of Inhalant Abuse:

  • Unusual harsh breath odor
  • A rash or blisters or soreness around the nose, mouth or on the lips
  • Runny nose, sniffing and coughing
  • Irritated or glazed eyes and dilated pupils
  • Nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, hallucinations or seizures
  • Uncontrolled laughter
  • Agitation or sleepiness
  • Extreme mood swings, increased irritability and anger or violent outbursts
  • Showing off or displaying risky behaviors

NOTE: If you suspect your child may have used an inhalant, get them health care right away.

How to Talk to Your Child if You Suspect Inhalant Use

  • Describe signs that have led you to be concerned.
  • Tell your child how much you love him/her. Say how worried you are about him/her.
  • Remind your child of his/her goals, such as being on a sports team or getting a part in a play.
  • Explain that using inhalants or other drugs can seriously affect their development.
  • Make it clear that you and the family will seek help.

Get Help