Most parents don’t know what can be used as drug paraphernalia so don’t feel like you are alone if you have no idea what to look for when it comes to signs that your child may be using drugs. Pretty much anything can be used to hide or use drugs these days but it is good to have some idea of the most common items you may not realize are drug paraphernalia. The more knowledge you have about drug use and drug paraphernalia, the better you will be able to help your child when they need it most.
Here are some everyday items you may not realize are drug paraphernalia:
- Pens: No, pens are not a conspicuous, code name for drug paraphernalia. We are literally are talking about writing pens. Pens are mainly used for snorting drugs. Because snorting is a quick way to get high many kids will use this route administration. Anything that can be broken down into a powder form can be snorted. This means that pens are used to snort cocaine, methamphetamine, pills, and heroin. The pen is hollowed out to become a tube and then can be used to snort a line of cocaine, crushed pills etc.
- Belts/Shoelaces: Whether or not your child’s belts or shoelaces are drug paraphernalia can be hard to determine because most people already have belts and shoelaces. Belts and shoelaces are used for injecting drugs. Drugs that can be injected are any substance that can dissolve in water. The belts and shoelaces are used to tie the arm as a tourniquet. Just like when you get your blood drawn at the doctor and they tie the tourniquet around your arm; drug users will use anything they can as a tourniquet including belts and shoelaces. They could be drug paraphernalia and you don’t even realize it.
- Rose in a glass: Rose in a glass is a fake or paper rose inside behind a protective pane of class. The little rose in a will look like a charm, novelty or part of a piece of jewelry but what you may not realize about this item is it actually a crack pipe. The rose is actually meant to throw parents such as yourself off as to the true nature of what it is. Because the reality is the rose means nothing and it is the glass tube it sits in that means everything. The glass is drug paraphernalia and used to smoke drugs such as crack. These glass roses are often sold in gas stations.
- Tube sock: All of us have been inside a gas station or convenience store and saw that they sold clothing items. They may have a whole stock of tube socks in their store. The real use for the tube socks goes unknown though to parents who don’t realize that they are actually drug paraphernalia. Tube socks can be used for huffing paint. What kids will do is empty an entire can of spray paint into the tube sock and then huff the fumes from the sock. Any gas station or convenience store selling tube socks may be selling a few to the weary traveler but they know the real intended purpose of tube socks.
- Vicks: You may have heard of kids getting high of Vicks but you may not have realized Vicks is also drug paraphernalia. Kids who are on ecstasy enjoy putting Vick’s VapoRub on their face because the ecstasy enhances the feeling they get as they inhale it. Fumes from eucalyptus and menthol are intensified by the ecstasy high which results in a very pleasurable sensation for those on ecstasy. So if you didn’t realize Vicks was drug paraphernalia keep any eye out especially if it is found with other things such as pacifiers, glow sticks and other rave items.
There are many everyday items you may not realize are drug paraphernalia but if you keep your eyes open and learn what to look for you won’t miss it. Don’t just look for drug paraphernalia though. Look for these items in accordance with other signs of drug use; such as changes in behavior, different sleep patterns, track marks, changes in friends, blood shot eyes, and nodding out etc. Chances are if you notice things aside finding drug paraphernalia you child may need help and you can be there to reach your hand out.
If you think you’re child may have a problem with drug addiction, check out Recognizing Drug Addiction Signs and Symptoms.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
Your brain on drugs: Inhalants
Inhalants are chemical vapors that people inhale to get high. They are also known as air blasts, aimies/ames/amys, bagging, bolt, boppers, bullet, climax, glading, gluing, hardware, hippie crack, huffing, kick, medusa, pearls, poor man’s pot, poppers, quicksilver, rush, snappers, snorting, thrust, tolly, toncho, whippets, and whiteout. Common inhalants include hairspray, paints, glues, gasoline, and cleaning fluids. Since most households have these chemicals and they can be easily purchased at any store, inhalants are popular among young people. The scariest part of inhalants is that overdose and death can happen the very first time that someone inhales these chemicals. They are very damaging to the brain and body.
People who abuse inhalants breathe them in through the mouth or nose in many different ways. They may sniff or snort the fumes from a container, spray aerosols directly into the nose or mouth, or put a chemical soaked rag over their nose and mouth. They could also inhale fumes from a balloon or paper bag.
Your brain on drugs: Inhalants: The High
The high from abusing inhalants is very short, usually only lasting a few seconds. Abusers usually repeat as soon as they “come down.” Most abused inhalants depress the central nervous system, similar to alcohol. The effects are also similar to alcohol and include loss of coordination, euphoria, slurred speech, and dizziness. Users often feel uninhibited after several inhalations and can have a lingering headache. Inhalant use can also cause hallucinations and delusions.
Your brain on drugs: Inhalants: Nitrates
Nitrites are a special class of inhalants that are abused to enhance sexual pleasure and performance. They do not work in the same way as other inhalants. Unlike other types of inhalants, nitrites enhance sexual pleasure by dilating and relaxing blood vessels.
Your brain on drugs: Inhalants: Your Brain
Inhalants deprive the brain and body of oxygen, which is why death from inhalants can occur the first time they are used. The lack of oxygen can result in permanent brain damage.
Inhalant vapors often contain more than one chemical. Some of the chemicals leave the body quickly, but others are stored in the fatty tissues in the brain and nervous system. One of the fatty tissues they can be stored in is called myelin. Myelin forms the protective cover around nerve cells (neurons). Neurons in the brain and spinal cord send and receive messages that control almost everything you think and do. The chemicals from inhalants break down myelin, which can inhibit the nerve cells’ ability to transmit messages.
Inhalants are much more damaging to the brain than other drugs of abuse. They change areas of the brain that controls memory and learning more quickly than other drugs.
Your brain on drugs: Inhalants: Psychological Effects
People who abuse inhalants have a much higher rate of psychiatric disorders. Among young people who abuse inhalants, 67% had thought about committing suicide and 20% had actually attempted it. Young people who abuse inhalants also have a higher rate of major depression and addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
If your loved one is in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
Inhalant drug abuse is not usually thought of as being a serious drug problem but the truth is that inhalant drug abuse is more dangerous than some of the strongest marijuana and alcohol. Not just that but inhalant drug abuse is most prominent among children and young adults. Inhalant drug abuse among children and young adults is a problem because of the different ways that it affects their minds and bodies at a young age; it may also set them up for heavier drug use as they get older. It’s important to talk to your kids about drugs like Inhalants so that they are aware of the risks they’re taking with their health.
Inhalant drug abuse is using any kind of material or substance that can be inhaled in order to get high. Inhalant drug abuse is also known as huffing. These products can range from nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), air freshener, spray paint, or keyboard cleaner. Once the chemicals are inhaled they quickly enter the bloodstream and are distributed to the brain. Within minutes the inhalant drug abuser experiences an intoxicated or euphoric high that is similar to the euphoria produced by alcohol. With inhalant drug abuse this euphoria only last a few minutes so the inhalant drug abuser continues to inhale the toxins to prolong their “high”.
The dangers of inhalant drug abuse are quickly felt and can last for a long time. Inhaling poisonous chemicals naturally has some serious negative side effects. Here are some of the negative short-term side effects of inhalant drug abuse:
- muscle weakness
- abdominal pain
- severe mood swings
- violent behavior
- slurred speech
- tingling of hands and feet
- hearing loss
- depressed reflexes
- loss of consciousness
- limb spasms
- lack of coordination
- impaired judgment
- visual disturbances
An inhalant drug abuser will also begin to feel stimulated after repeated use and will also have some loss of inhibition. With continuous inhalant use it is possible an inhalant drug abuser may end up having hallucinations.
The long-term effects of repeated inhalant drug abuse are little bit more serious and can be as extreme as death. Here are some of the more long-term effects of inhalant drug abuse:
- weight loss,
- muscle weakness,
- lack of coordination,
Inhalant drug abuse can produce different dangerous effects in different people at different times. Inhalant drug abuse can also damage vital organs and some of the harmful effects of inhalant drug abuse are irreversible. Some even more serious effects of inhalant drug abuse are:
- liver and kidney damage
- hearing loss,
- limb spasms,
- bone marrow damage
- central nervous system (including brain) damage
There is also a chance with inhalant drug abuse of having Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. Children can die the first time, or any time of inhalant drug abuse. While it can occur with many types of inhalants, it is particularly associated with the abuse of air conditioning coolant, butane, propane, electronics and the chemicals in some aerosol products. Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome is usually associated with cardiac arrest. The inhalant causes the heart to beat rapidly and erratically, resulting in cardiac arrest which then results in death.
Huffing or inhalant drug abuse may seem less serious on the outside but it is so serious especially because its users are typically children. This is something that everyone should be aware of and something that should not be taken lightly. Because of the irreversible (death) and even reversible damage inhalant drug abuse can cause.
If you or someone you know needs treatment for Alcohol and/or Inhalant Drug Addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.