Sue Scheff: Teen Drug Prevention - Inhalant Abuse

Learn more about Inhalant use and your teens

Inhalant abuse is a growing problem that many parents are not aware of. We are cautious of drug abuse and alcohol consumption, however huffing, sniffing, dusting, bagging and the use of inhalants is not a frequent discussion.

Why is inhalant abuse to important to learn about? Because many of the products teens are using today to get high through inhalants, are located in your home. Many are household items such as nail polish remover, paint thinner, correction fluid, lighters, gasoline and many more.
As a Parent Advocate, I am constantly reminding parents that keeping your lines of communication open with your teens can help prevent drug use and other negative behavior that can stem from peer pressure, depression, etc.

Here are some talking tips to open your dialogue with your teen today:


• Ask your pre-teen or teenager if he or she knows about Inhalant Abuse or is aware of other kids abusing products.
• Reinforce peer resistance skills. Tell him or her that sniffing products to get high is not the way to fit in. Inhalants are harmful: the “high” comes with high cost.
• Encourage your child to come to you if he or she has any questions about Inhalants.
• Tell your child that the consequences of Inhalant Abuse are as dangerous as those from abusing alcohol or using illegal drugs. Be absolutely clear — emphasize that unsafe actions and risky behavior have serious consequences.
• Monitor your teen’s activities — set boundaries, ask questions. Be firm, know his or her friends and his or her friends’ parents, know where they meet to “hang out.”
• Educate your child about the dangers, but don’t mention specific substances unless your child brings them up. While many youngsters know kids are sniffing some substances, they may not know the full range of products that can be abused; and you don’t want to give them suggestions.
• Tell your children that you love them and that their safety is your number one priority. Tell them again…and again…and again

Be an educated parent, you will have a safer and healthier teen.

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