Senior Member (female)
Join Date: Feb 2004
Your kids could be huffing their lives away...!
Hello everyone. I, unfortunately, have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from huffing (inhalants -- inhaled fumes from household or industrial products). I'm still, to this day, dealing with the life-ruining, disabling effects. Inhalants are also known as sniffing, bagging, or ballooning. Most think of inhalants as "just" another drug, however, they are actually very toxic poisons. These poisons, when inhaled, latch onto the fatty tissues in our organs in the brain, kidneys, and liver, continuing to do major damage.
Examples of inhalants: correction fluid (White-out), glues, gasoline, magic/felt-tip markers, Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), Helium (gas for balloons), any aerosol spray-can (such as whipped cream cans - known as whippets, Duster/computer cleaner, Scotch Guard, insecticides, hairspray, deoderant, air freshener, and butane lighter fluid) paint/paint thinner, nail polish/remover, ammonia, shoe polish, inhaling air (gas) from a balloon to get that high-pitched sound with one's voice, and even burning incense.
Inhaling or sniffing chemicals is like playing russian roulette with one's brain, heart, liver, kidneys, and entire being! The person can die or become permanently disabled the 1st time or 10th time!
Why did I do something so stupid and reckless? I feel that I mainly huffed to self-medicate. I'd had depression and anxiety most of my life (and still do), and I was trying to find a way to feel better emotionally and psychologically. Inhalants can actually be physically and psychologically addictive.
As a result of my inhalant use/TBI, I, to this day, deal with the long-term, irreversable effects which include: severe memory loss, severe dizziness (feels as bad or worse than the flu), chronic fatigue, nystagmus (involuntary, quick eye movements) indicating damage to the cerebellum in my brain (cerebellum's responsible for balance and coordination which I also have trouble with). The nystagmus makes it difficult to read words and focus on objects. I also have dysarthria (problems saying words), word-finding problems (finding the right words when wanting to speak -- even simple words), reading comprehension problems, written and auditory (hearing) perceptual problems, poor attention span and ability to concentrate on various tasks. I have panic attacks and depression.
I have a lot of nerve damage to my face, hands, and other areas and have trouble smiling due to the nerve damage. I also have a grating at the back of my neck when nodding my head up and down, most likely due to damaged bone marrow (the fatty tissue that lines the bone.) So yeah, I'm pretty messed-up!!
Sudden Sniffing Death can occur if the person sniffs, then gets startled, has a heart attack and dies.
Please, if you start finding inhalant paraphenalia -- empty paper bags, empty product bottles, products such as glues missing, investigate further. Does your child smell like any chemicals? Has their behavior changed? Do they seem more depressed? If so, perhaps you should talk to them about it, and take them to an addictions counselor/therapist. Thank you for taking the time to care about your children, and in reading this post :-).
Please feel free to print this out and show this to your own. How unfortunate that my parents were in denial about my depression and/or inhalant usage, and huffing was not talked about so publicly as it is more so now. Hopefully, this will bring quality of life for someone else. Thank you.