More Adults Are Abusing Inhalants

By Valerie Tejeda 01/20/12

The dangerous practice of "huffing" household chemicals isn't only risked by kids, researchers find.

"Huffing" risks lung and brain damage.
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We may associate the practice of "huffing" common chemicals such as cleaning products with foolhardy kids, but new research shows that nearly half of the those admitted for treatment for inhalant abuse are over 18 years old. The study—carried out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—records that 52% of people seeking care for abusing inhalants are aged 18-29, while 32% are 30-44, and as many as 16% were 45 and older. Inhaling chemicals may be an easy way to get a quick high, but inhaling these vapors can cause permanent lung and brain damage. Abusing inhalants often evolves into a potentially fatal addiction. In the past year, 1.1 million adults huffed chemicals, which means the practice is more popular than using drugs such as crack, LSD, and heroin.

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.