Cocaine, Meth, Marijuana, Heroin. These are all popular drugs that you see in the news, floating around drug abusers everywhere. Most of these abusers are young adults or older and thankfully most of these drugs stay away from children everywhere. While some do slip through into the unfortunate hands of some children, a much greater threat lies in their hands.
Inhalant abuse is no laughing matter, and schoolchildren everywhere have easy access to substances such as model glue, gasoline, hairspray, and even household cleaning fluids. If a child has one of these substances and even something as simple as a plastic or paper bag, they have instant access to highs such as hallucination and drowsiness.
This leads to a variety of dangerous situations: Suffocation from passing out into the plastic bag they were using to get high, being convinced that they can fly as they jump out of the tenth story window, and of course hypoxia. When inhaling such substances, the body is deprived of oxygen for increasingly longer periods of time, causing the brain and heart to not get enough of it. This can lead to permanent damage and coma.
Unfortunately for parents, inhalant abuse is often extremely difficult to spot. The effects of the high rarely linger long enough to be detected unless the abusers are caught in the act, and the aftermath of such drugs will simply look like normal household trash.
This is even more worrisome in schools, as children can easily fill a paper bag with model glue in the bathroom and pass it around before throwing it away, never to be seen again.
Glue sniffing hype has died down over the past few years, but it is still a larger killer of school aged adolescents than mainstream drugs. Please keep an eye out for your children and educate them on the dangers of such substance abuse.