Teens, especially younger teens, are often limited in their access to alcohol and illicit drugs. They typically lack the money and connections to get alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. However, they can be resourceful in the face of these obstacles. There are several common household items that can alter your consciousness just as powerfully as many illicit drugs. Unfortunately, these items are often more dangerous. Here are some common items teens sometimes use to get high.
Whipped cream cans
Also called “whippets,” this is when you inhale the nitrous oxide gas inside the whipped cream can. This can cause dizziness, euphoria, confusion, hallucinations and excitement. Inhaling nitrous oxide isn’t exactly poisonous, but it isn’t exactly safe either. Inhaling compressed gas from a canister might cause frostbite, since the gas gets very cold when decompressed. It may also cause you to fall down or pass out, which may cause injury. What’s more, the high is very short, which encourages repeated use. Excessive use of nitrous oxide has been associated with a number of health problems, including vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia, neuropathy, and numbness in the extremities.
There are number of items that can be used for huffing, including glue, paint, and gasoline. Huffing may cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, lack of coordination, slurred speech, and stupor. The active ingredient in huffing is typically toluene, which is toxic. Huffing may cause damage to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and brain, resulting in loss of hearing, vision, or coordination. Huffing may also cause death by asphyxiation or heart failure. The signs of huffing are generally pretty apparent. In addition to the physical symptoms of slurred speech and impaired coordination, someone who has been huffing paint will often have paint on his face or hands.
Inhaling keyboard duster, or “dusting” is similar to inhaling nitrous oxide. The effects depend on what’s being inhaled. Although these are just “canned air” the air is not the same as the air we breathe. It may cause mild intoxication or intense euphoria. As with whippets, the high from dusting is short lived and encourages repeated use. The effects may include nausea, headache, fatigue, irrational behavior, slurred speech, and tingling in the extremities. Long term effects of repeated use can include depression, weight loss, and muscle spasms. As with glue, paint, and gasoline, repeated use may damage your lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain. Since dusting also displaces oxygen in the lungs, it can cause death by suffocation.
Many cough syrups contain the drug dextromethorphan, or DXM, which can cause hallucinations, euphoria, dizziness, headaches, and blurred vision when used in very high doses. Robitussin is especially popular for this purpose, since it contains relatively high levels of DXM.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our Copper Hills facility specializes in the treatment of younger adults. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.