Every year a slew of people have to recharge their air conditioning units because of the mysterious disappearance of their Freon supply. Strange as it may seem, kids will siphon Freon and put bags filled with Freon over their heads. Known as ‘huffing’ or ‘dusting’, inhalants like Freon are commonly abused by teenagers looking for cheap ways to get high. Despite the fact that many people have died or become seriously ill due to Freon abuse and other inhalants, they continue to abuse them.
Side-Effects of Inhalant Abuse
Inhalant abuse has been compared to a game of Russian roulette, causing permanent organ damage and even death. According to the American Association of Poison Control, more than 2,000 teens were admitted to the hospital for huffing Freon in 2009 and two died. For 30% of first time users it could be that the first Freon huff that kills them, for the other 70%, they risk cardiac arrest or brain damage.
A lot of parents worry about their teen using drugs like marijuana, cocaine, meth or heroin and are completely oblivious to the easy access to household products that can be used to get high. Along with Freon, there are spray paints, glues, fingernail polish remover and deodorants that teens will use to get high.
What was once thought of as a practice relegated to third-world slums, inhalants are now the third most-used drug after marijuana and alcohol among grades 8–12 in the United States. More than 20% of all 8th graders have huffed toxic substances, like Freon.
Addiction Treatment for Inhalant Abuse
Inhalant abuse has the highest percentage of young teen users. A staggering 50% of 141,000 inhalant abusers are between the ages of 12–17. Young teens are the most at risk for abusing inhalants, and the ones that are the most likely to need the appropriate inhalant abuse addiction treatment services.
If you or someone you love is struggling with inhalant abuse, professional addiction treatment at a reputable drug rehab center like New England Recovery Center in Westborough, Massachusetts (MA) is always the safest bet. This is the best way to give your teen freedom from inhalant abuse and a chance at recovery.