Many parents in Salt Lake City believe that marijuana is a gateway to drug addiction. Although marijuana may be a gateway to harder drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin, kids are getting a taste of what it feels like to be high way before pot is introduced, and the parents are supplying it.

The Drugs in Your Home

Household items like computer keyboard cleaners (compressed air), paint thinners, nail polish remover and other aerosols, gases, nitrites and volatile solvents pose as potential drug inhalants. These inhalants are growing more popular among middle schoolers and teens because of the easy access. Although many not categorize inhaling household products as a drug addiction, they have the same addictive qualities.

At Next Level Recovery, we want the best for you and your children, which is why it’s important to be familiar with new ways that kids are getting high. Inhalant abuse is an epidemic today and lack of knowledge is why it’s a continuous problem. Physicians and law enforcement officials often can’t detect when one is abusing.

The Signs

If your child shows signs of frequent sneezing, drowsiness, vomiting, smells like chemical odors or has paint or other stains on the face, hands or clothing, they may be abusing your household products. A national survey shows that almost 22.3 million Americans have used inhalants at least once in their lives, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 14.9 percent of eighth graders have used inhalants.

Abusing household products should be seen as a drug addiction because of the dangerous effects on the body. If the inhalant is highly concentrated, your child could suffer damage in the brain, heart, kidneys, the liver and even death.

To prevent your child from accessing this gateway drug, talk with your child about the potential risks. Getting high off household inhalants may not seem as problematic as other drugs but their effects are one in the same.