Teens Abuse Household Substances To Get High - Treatment Solutions
Insurance Accepted

Teens Abuse Household Substances To Get High

Post 658 of 728

Teens have a history of trying risky behavior, partly because they are learning about life and trying to find their way in the world.  Often times, this spreading of their wings is not harmful.  Sometimes, however, teens get hooked on trends that are downright dangerous, or that will expose them to a world of risky behavior.  Some of the latest risky teen behaviors take place with substances found in their own homes.  The choices that teens make today can affect them for the rest of their lives.

Inhalant Abuse

The use and abuse of inhalants is one of the biggest growing trends among teens today.  Teens inhale anything they can get their hands on, such as aerosol sprays (spray paint, air fresheners, deodorants), solvents (gasoline, glue, markers), and gases (propane tanks, whipped cream dispensers) and the list goes on and on.  Immediate effects of this kind of substance abuse include slurred speech, nausea, lack of coordination, and irritability.  More serious effects are brain damage, liver and kidney failure, heart damage, and potentially, “Sudden Sniffing Death” (SSD).

Over the Counter Drug Abuse

Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a cough suppressant found in many over the counter cold medications.  When taken as directed, it works to sooth a cough.  But many teens today are taking this medication and other over the counter medications (motion sickness pills, acetaminophen, and ephedrine) in large doses in order to get high.  Immediate effects include euphoria, loss of coordination, hallucinations, and possibly seizure and brain damage.  Overdose is a very possible effect.

Prescription Drugs

Teens have also been getting away with taking their own family members’ prescription drugs, such as OxyContin, Valium, and Adderall.  In many schools, officials are facing the problem of teens bringing stashes of these drugs to school to sell to their friends.  Kids are also able to order prescription drugs at home from their family’s computer.  A growing percentage of teens have experimented with prescription drugs.

Gateway Drugs

Teens who start out with trying something fun and new with their friends because they are bored and unsupervised at home can quickly become addicted to the “high” they get.  Teens that regularly abuse household substances are more likely to try harder drugs, in an attempt to get a better high, or to try something more dangerous and thrilling.  Prescription drugs, inhalants, and over the counter medications have been dubbed “gateway drugs” because of the likelihood that they lead to more dangerous drug abuse.

Parents need to be vigilant about what their kids are doing and who they are hanging out with.  If teens are left unsupervised, the temptation will be there to try these things.  All of the kids are talking about it, and the internet and pop culture have a wealth of information (good and bad) for your teens.  Parents need to educate themselves about these risks, and then educate their kids.  Teens should know that they can go to their parents with questions or concerns they might have, and get reliable information.


Shook, Jennifer Cough suppressants can be big problem 2/23/09

Ivers, Marianne Risky teen trends: Parents, don’t be in denial February 11, 2009

Schimelpfening, Nancy Inhalant Abuse July 28, 2008

Related posts:

Leah Miranda

This article was written by Leah Miranda

Leah joined American Addiction Centers in 2012 and currently holds the position of Events and Social Media Manager. After earning her Bachelor's degree in history, with a minor in teaching, she began her career in the higher education system. Her passion for connecting with people soon led her the field of marketing and social media where she is able to communicate with and inspire others daily. Connect with Leah on Google+


MoniqueFebruary 26, 2009 at 3:40 pmReply

Great post. I think parents need to be enlightened on what might be dangerous to keep around the house. I went to get cough medicine for a serious cold, and was surprised I had to present my ID for them to swipe. I think this is a great step in greatly reducing the over-the-counter medication abuse. Thanks for sharing this list.

Five of the Most Common Drugs Used by Teens | Treatment SolutionsApril 19, 2012 at 11:11 pmReply

[…] Inhalants: The presence of inhalants has become another danger in most teenage homes. Teens and pre-teens have begun sniffing or huffing certain chemicals or household items in order to get high. Oftentimes, teens don’t see this as being anything more than a game, and certainly don’t see it as being harmful. […]