Communication is prevention. That’s why our ACE’s inhalant abuse prevention program focuses on education.
Our support resources are intended to facilitate conversations that help children and teens understand the dangers of inhalant abuse and tools to use to resist peer pressure.
Tips for Talking to Children (6 to 11 year-olds)
Discuss the purpose of common household products. Emphasize that when they are not used appropriately, certain fumes or gases may harm the body and make them sick.
- Discuss what fumes are and what effects they may have on a healthy body.
- Play a game - “Is it safe to smell or touch?”
- Read product labels together, discuss directions, and answer any questions honestly.
- Suggest opening windows or using fans when products call for proper ventilation.
- Teach by example - show your child that you use household products according to the directions.
- Monitor your child’s activities and friends.
- Look for “teachable moments.”
Talk Tough with Teens
According to national surveys, more than two million kids aged 12 to 17 have used some form of an inhalant to get high.
- Ask your teen what they know about Inhalants.
- Do they have friends who abuse Inhalants?
- Ask if they know the physical damage that can occur from “sniffing”
- Damage to brain, liver, lungs, kidneys
- Loss of memory and smell
- Death - even the first time
- Tell your child that the consequences of abusing products are as dangerous as those from abusing alcohol or using illegal drugs.
- Let them know that sniffing products to get high is not the way to fit in. Help them address peer pressure. It may seem harmless, but the high can come with a deadly cost.
- Be absolutely clear that unsafe actions and risky behavior have serious consequences.
- Encourage your child to come to you or a teacher, clergy, counselor, coach, or adult friend if they have any questions or concerns.
- Monitor their activities, know their friends, be a good listener, and set limits.
- Seize communication opportunities.
In Case of Emergency
If you find your child unconscious or you suspect your child is under the influence of an inhalant:
- Call 911 immediately.
- Keep the child calm to reduce cardiac stress.
- Try to determine the source of the inhalant so the medical professionals can help more quickly.
If you suspect your child might be abusing inhalants, call your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or the 1-800 number on the product label.
Inhalant Abuse Recovery
Recovery is possible, but it is important to seek help for yourself or a loved one immediately. To find a treatment center in your area visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.
Questions about the signs and symptoms of inhalant abuse? Visit the Inhalant Abuse Messageboard to ask questions, get information, and find support on inhalant abuse from peers across the country.
Supporting a Friend
Connect with others that have lost their loved ones, learn how to support a friend, or get more information for yourself
The Alliance for Consumer Education has created an external messageboard that averages 100,000 active monthly users. Read real stories about abuse, what is really happening after school, at home and everywhere in-between.
Poison Control Center
Emergency / Poison Control
If you have an emergency situation, please contact your local poison control center.
Local Poison Control Centers
Visit the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) website or call 1-800-222-1222
America’s 57 poison centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just one number, 1-800-222-1222, will connect you to your local poison center. Call for information or during poisoning emergencies to get immediate advice from specially trained nurses, pharmacists, toxicologists, and other experts.
Calls are free and confidential.
The AAPCC is a non-profit, national organization founded in 1958. The AAPCC represents the poison control centers of the United States and the interests of poison prevention and treatment of poisoning.
ACE is a proud member of the Poison Prevention Week Council.