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A Support Group for parents having problems with their teenager's behavior

Welcome to PIC

My name is Rita Gutierrez and I am the Founder and Coordinator of Parents In Crisis (PIC). The purpose of the organization is to provide information to parents of "at-risk" teens by introducing them to programs that might be helpful to their particular situations, by providing them with useful tools in better coping with the crisis in their home, and by using the internet as a tool to keep them abreast of resources that may be of concern to them and their children. I am currently living in Florida where I am working as a Mentor to teens in the Doorways Program. If there are topics that you feel would be of importance, please note them in my guestbook or send me an email. I will consider all serious suggestions. And don't forget to check out the "NO GANG" page too. I am sure you will find alot of useful information on both pages. I would appreciate it if you would take just a moment and sign my guestbook when you have finished looking at my page. It is very important to me to know who has stopped by and what you think of my work. Thank you.

NoGangs logo Gangs information


| Products | Symptoms | Effects | Methods | More Info |

Parents can generally identify a bag of pot or rolling papers if they find them in their child's room, but stumbling across a stash of spray paint may strike you as odd. If you don't know exactly what your teenager is using such products for, it is reasonable to suspect inhalant use. But don't expect your teen to confess if confronted; instead, contact a local drug-counseling group. An experienced counselor may be able to moderate a productive session between you and your child.

Back to Inhalants index

Inhalants Products

The following are the most popular types of products abused, ordinary household products can be deadly in the hands of a teen determined to get high. :

Fabric protectors
Nail polish remover with acetone or toluene
Whippets (small canisters of nitrous oxide that propel whipped cream)
Vegetable cooking sprays
Liquid correction fluid
Halon fire extinguishers
Gasoline and propane fuel
VCR head cleaner
Spray paint
Hair spray
WD-40 (automotive)
Felt tip markers
Butane (including cigarette lighters)
Air Fresheners
Paint thinner
Gumout (automotive)

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Inhalants Symptoms

Don't overlook these symptoms, especially if they are chronic, in combination, or don't respond to medication:
  • red or runny nose
  • sores or rash around the mouth and nose
  • nausea and headaches
  • chronic cough
  • sudden memory loss or lack of concentration
Also be on the lookout for:
  • chemical smell on the breath, on clothes or in the bedroom
  • paint stains on clothing and skin
  • soda cans, rags, sandwich bags with a chemical smell
Otherwise, many of the warning signs for inhalant abuse are the same as for any drug:
  • abrupt changes in schoolwork and attendance
  • changes in personal hygiene
  • extreme mood swings
  • red, irritated eyes
  • sudden weight loss
  • sudden loss of interest in friends, sports or hobbies

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Inhalants Deadly Effects

Extended use of inhalants can cause weight loss, fatigue and an electrolyte (salt) imbalance. Repeated use can permanently damage the nervous system, greatly reducing physical and mental abilities. Also, because inhalants are easily absorbed in the bloodstream and metabolized through the liver and kidneys, long-term sniffing can damage blood, bone marrow, the liver and the kidneys.

Deep breathing of vapors or extended use of inhalants during a short period of time may result in other serious effects such as losing self-control, violent behavior, unconsciousness or death. Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of solvents or aerosols can produce heart failure and instant death. High concentrations of inhalants can also cause death from suffocation by displacing the oxygen in the lungs. Inhalants can also depress the central nervous system so much that breath slows down until it stops.

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Inhalants Methods

  • Sniffing - Breathing in the substances vapors through the nose. A youngster may sniff a container of white out, glue, paint thinner or gasoline to inhale the fumes through the nostrils.

  • Huffing - Breathing in the substances vapors through the mouth. A child can spray paint on a handkerchief and hold it over his or her mouth and breath in the fumes.

  • Bagging - Inhaling the vapors through a bag. A youth can spray fumes on a cloth or piece of clothing, then insert it into a plastic or paper bag to increase the concentration of the vapors. Then he or she puts the bag opening over the mouth or nose and breathes in. Some users may also place their heads directly inside the bag.

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More Inhalants Information

COHIS COHIS - Boston University Medical Center, Community Outreach Health Information System

ERRI ERRI - Emergency Response and Research Institute

Join Together JTO - Join Together Online - Hot Issues - Inhalant Abuse

NCADI NCADI - The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

NIDA NIDA - National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Links to other WWW sites for parents.

The Parenting Resource Center The Parenting Resource Center

Misc Resources Miscellaneous Resource Links

New Rider's WWW Yellow Pages New Riders' Official WWW Yellow Pages

If love alone could have saved you.....(A letter from Brandon's mother)


This page is dedicated in the loving memory of Brandon Roberts who died at the age of 16 on March 1, 1996 as a result of inhalants, in hopes that he did not die in vain.


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Thank You!


A Proud Member of the One & Only Associate Network

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Requests, advise, questions, or comments.
Together, we can make a difference.

1996 Rita Gutierrez http://homepage.usr.com/r/rdaniel/
mailto: drita1@tampabay.rr.com

You are guest # at PIC since August 1, 1996.

Last Update: March 17, 1999

*As of March 1, 1998, PIC is no longer affiliated with any support groups located in southeastern Michigan. I will, however, continue to work with people on an individual basis, including the various agencies I have worked with in the past.*
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