How to Know if Your Kids Are Huffing

What is Huffing?

Huffing, bagging, or sniffing is the inhalation of chemical vapors for a quick high. An estimated two million kids aged 12-17 are doing it. But first experiences can be as early as 6 - 8. It's one more horrible thing we've got to bring up before their friends do. While we've been getting serious about drugs and alcohol, kids have started doing pure poison. Inhalants are cheap and available in most households. Kids huff paint thinner, gasoline, markers, nail polish, correction fluid, and rubber cement. Just about anything in an aerosol can be mind altering if inhaled deeply. On top of that, a 2005 study shows that girls are huffing more than boys. Gee I wonder why - all those fabulous beauty products we push on them smell great.

Why Would My Kid Try Huffing?

Why not? Their friends tell them it's a good idea and if you haven't specifically addressed furniture polish as a dangerous substance, how are they to know? Few of us haven't sniffed the tip of a Sharpie in jest. But it's not funny. This is a trend that probably won't go away too soon. Talk to your kids - even the little ones.

If you want to be disturbed, or if you want to scare your child, just search U-Tube for kids huffing. There are plenty of messed up kids out there eager for you to get a good look at the effects of huffing.

A police officer's child dies from inhalants.

How Would I Know if My Kid Were Huffing?

A kid high on chemicals will be dazed, slur speech, and may lose appetite or be nauseous. Look for general drunk-like behavior. He may have a runny nose and sores rashes around the mouth and nose. A common tip off to parents is the strong chemical odor on the breath.

You may see paint or other stains from the cans on the child's face, hands, or clothing. Beware of an excess of empty containers in the trash or hidden around the house or yard. Kids may put the substance on a rag and inhale it from there instead of directly from the can so watch for chemical soaked cloth or clothing.

What Are the Effects of Huffing?

Because inhalants are poison, and that it's going straight into the blood stream, the first experiment can be fatal. The most common cause is sudden cardiac arrest. Other fatalities include injuries, suffocation and burns. Choking on vomit is another tragic end to huffing. As with any other high, a low soon follows, putting the child at risk for depression and even suicide.

It takes about two weeks for inhalants to leave the body and in that time the child may continue to feel nausea and possibly lose weight. Huffing damages the brain, affecting memory, concentration, hearing, and coordination. Over time permanent brain damage is possible. Chronic use of inhalants can also cause heart, lung, liver, and kidney damage.

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RachelLynn6223 4 years ago

I am 15 years old. Last year, my friends and I all decided to huff. We huffed anything aerosol. Glade, Fabreeze, spray paint, anything. We usually would put a towel or a pillow to our mouth and spray the aerosol into it and inhale, keeping it in for about 5-10 seconds and then exhaling. It was an everyday thing. The first time my best friend and I huffed, it was glade. The high lasts about 30 seconds, to a minute. The high makes you dizzy or "light-headed". Usually followed by a headache and the urge to huff more because the high only lasts a little bit. The chemicals got on our fingers, causing burns. A couple months after we first started doing it, two of my friends decided to huff hairspray at school. They got caught, and suspended. A couple weeks later, me and two of my friends stole about 10 cans of Glade, a few cans of hairspray, and some cleaner we found in the school bathroom and headed to our friend's house for an "all night huffing party". We huffed for hours, non stop. Then, one of my friends started complaining of a sore throat and started throwing up blood. We got so scared, we never did it again. It's nothing to play around with. We did research, come to find out, we were all VERY lucky, for only one time could be your last. We had done it too many times to even count. Today, one of my teachers showed us this video about the man losing his son due to huffing. I got so emotional. Huffing is nothing to play around with, it could cause so many health problems, that is if your lucky enough to keep your life.

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galym 5 years ago

i feel stupid i just huffed for my first time a couple minutes ago and im scared now that i did research apperently the first time is very danjerous i wont do it again

yeah 5 years ago

or at least decriminalize weed

Some bs. 5 years ago

Legalize weed and wont have this problem

more logic 5 years ago

i should correct my previous comment because we "bagged" the cooking spray, but the end result is the same. epilepsy, and nobody in my family near or distant has it besides me.

logic 5 years ago

this is a terrible thing to try! when i was 14 over at my best friends house, i unfortunately was a follower and huffed cooking spray for a few months with my friends. luckily his mom found out, and she helped my friend apply some logic to it and help him realize that inhaling chemicals can never be a good thing for any reason. she told our other friends, and my parents (who really didn't know how to deal with this). my best friend stopped right away, and our friends parents wouldn't let him hang out with us anymore (i guess they didn't know that it was their son that showed it to us). anyhow i managed to get a can of it and bring it over to my best friends house when his mom was out, but my friend didn't want to do it anymore. he let me do it at his house by myself when his mom was out, but after only a few more times i stopped doing it to. i think it was the combination of not liking doing it by myself, and my friend helping me realize that it's just a stupid thing to do.

within a few months after stopping huffing i began suffering complex partial seizures, but i did not know they were seizures at that time. i wsa 14 just about to turn 15 and i did not know how to describe these things i was getting to my parents, and i never had one in front of them so they never knew of this condition. unfortunately these partial seizures were a serious problem for me for many years, and affected my ability to finish high school and work. finally at 31 i began having full tonic clonic seizures in my sleep, and eventually happening while i'm awake. i'm 40 now and my epileptic condition continues, and is still occasionally unpredictable.

i can't prove that huffing caused this, but the timing of my problems sure points the blame on inhaling chemicals. i only did this for a few months, and now i live with a very scary condition.

please kids you have to use logic. your brain is delicate, complex, and has everything to do with your existence and how you experience life, and your lungs are a direct route to that delicate brain. in my case now, marijuana has been helpful in controlling my partial seizures, but that's a plant.


Mason 5 years ago

Huff I do it in school all the time it only takes 3 deep breaths of a sharpy marker each one you hold in for 5 seconds and you will feel a 10 second high

Its very scary dont do it once u start you cant stop 5 years ago

God bless , ,

Anonymous1 5 years ago

I've always thought of myself as being someone smart, I've done well in school, have a B.S. degree all that. I've had a job working for a painting contractor and discovered by accident while working to clean off an oil-based paint with this stuff called WIL-bond, that it really screws you up, even from just being around it in an enclosed area. I since tried it quite a few times and it's extremely addictive, every time I see that can I want to do it. I got confronted by my boss because I was suspected of doing it, its really scary and was really intense, and I feel it has caused some irreparable brain damage because in certain situations I feel dumb. Like simple exchanges with someone at the cash register or something I am always struggling to find the thing I am thinking of, like I know what I'm thinking of sort of but can't find the word to back up the concept.. stupid stuff like that. I have plans to go to grad school and I worry I may have screwed myself and it's going to be a struggle.. If you've never tried it, then DON'T try it the first time, because once you do (as with all drugs pretty much) you have a hard time demonizing it in your head like you once did and it becomes very easy to do. Don't do it.. I'm now cursed with trying to stay away from this stuff and stay out of trouble, it runs through my mind all the time now whenever I see it and I have to force myself to redefine this as a life or death type situation and it is not fun.

Jc 5 years ago

I have huffed gas and I have to addmite it's a pretty fuking amazing high(SOMETIMES)but it can kill u and im 16and I hav almost died a couple times I rember one time I got so high I passed out in the spiled gas on my bed luckyly my aunt came in the room cuz she smelled it im very lucky also u can not be add by huffing and parents fyi if u send ur kid to rehabe they hav to want help or else u give them another reason do get high

cham 5 years ago

i was looking for some frkin answers....found none. i'm almost 40 and concerned about my son- this gave me no help whatsoever

cheergirl7 5 years ago

I huff and im not proud of it.. im trying to stop but its hard, sometimes i go for weeks without doing if but then im back to it. some things i have huffed are : nail polish, sharpies, gasoline, dry erase markers,alcohal based facial toners and even cleaning products. for me it never curbed appetite like my friend told me which was the original reason i tried it. now im just focused on not doing it i have a bright future and am not going to ruin it all by huffing. plus im the teen (17) who has never drank aclohal or smoked or done any other drugs. its a strange addiction that needs to stop. one way is to keep something you love the smell of but isn't harmful on you at all times.

Wes 5 years ago

I'm 15. I have huffed sharpies, gas, lots of things. I didn't do it often, and I didn't do it long. It's obvious there's a change in my memory, ability to focus, a lot of things that are really important! You have no idea how fast it damages your abilities. I haven't done it for over a year and I still realize how much easier it is to zone out on nothing for no reason. I can sit blank minded for long stints of time and think nothing of it. My memory is TERRIBLE! I find it extremely hard to focus on schoolwork etc. Please, watch out for your kids in every way possible. I know they mean the world to you, and it's just not worth getting that damaged that fast for one of the lamest highs you could experience. Huffing can make you really dumb, really fast. Take care of the ones you love, and educate your kids on the insane toll it can take on your mental health.

kiddslurpps 5 years ago

Ughh...ive recently got into huffing just to try it out. its only my 3rd time doing it and it gets me good. i kinda like it now, im only 15 going 16 in 3 months. Idunno what took over me that im doing this. im a good kid, a smart one, no one would ever suspect me doing this but i am now, and i don't wanna stop. I would feel shitty if my friends found out, not much my parents cuz my friends are like a closer family and all they do is smoke weed or pop some xtc. i don't knw im being stupid....

miley 5 years ago

my niece 8 years old died on feb 15 2011 of inhalant. please ppls educate yourself and your kids .

evylensucks 6 years ago

well i think this is all B S ! huffing is great ! ive been doing it for a mmm week ! aha its asome u feel like u flying i do perfumes & air freshners itss BOOM!s so now my friend maria is lookinjg at me like if im such an idiot but whatever huffing is great so is weed & tweek !& cocaine ! ohhhh & sleeping pills & ecstasy! whoop whoop! raise the roof letss gooo huffing my nikkas

thinkimplayin 6 years ago

i am 14, i huffed an air freshiner after i had sprayed it in my room when my lil brother got out cuz it smelled like sh*t and that b*tch had me 'worried' dat my a*s was gonna get high I FOUND MYSELF dead on the ground of my f*ckin room and my boyfriend walked in and waz like OMG WTF HAPPENED TO U!!!!! .... then he got out to go get help and i waz on facebook and my whole family came and was like ummmm wat u talkin bout shez fine.... i was like lol :D its a (beep)story and ur(beep)(beep)(beep)(beep)better have(beep)beleved(beep)(beep)(beep)story. thanks 4 lettin me share (beep) lol :D ------i lkie crayons :D------ lol

david 6 years ago

it is a big issue i am only 12 cleans it is so hard to get and keep clean cause it is so easy to get it sometimes i doubt i can do it the physical part is the worst

Me 6 years ago

I am 18 going on 25 since I was 16 iv been doing noz at house partys it was a just try it thing and it turned into a got to have it thing I haven't done it in 8 months but it gets hard because I still want that min high from a huff it really isn't worth it though because it messes up ur brain I don't even remember a lot of things from when I was a kid so I do wish I never had tried it because huffing is never a one time thing and it is hard to kick the habit

Me 6 years ago

I am 18 going on 25 since I was 16 iv been doing noz at house partys it was a just try it thing and it turned into a got to have it thing I haven't done it in 8 months but it gets hard because I still want that min high from a huff it really isn't worth it though because it messes up ur brain I don't even remember a lot of things from when I was a kid so I do wish I never had tried it because huffing is never a one time thing and it is hard to kick the habit

me 6 years ago

Oh god last night i huffed nail polish i hated it pleasee can once affect me im 13 and from a good family i don't want my life to be affected

concerned wife  6 years ago

suspect husband is huffing don't know what to do about it can't ask him because i'm afraid .what can i do

bobby 6 years ago

hey im 17 now but when i was 14-15 i was grabbing all the cans in my house to find out which one was suitable for putting to my mouth and sucking the aerosol out of it. i was addicted to them until i turned 16 and got a drug dealer that sold me weed. i smoked weed almost daily for 9 months. since then i havnt touched an aerosol can. a few months ago i quit weed and am sober every day. i don't know if it makes sense but to stop abusing aerosol cans i had to get addicted to weed then quit weed. quiting weed for me was 100x easier to quit than quiting aerosol. sorry if this offended or upset anyone, just trying to help by giving my experience.

Concerned Foster Mom 6 years ago

I would like to know if perfume's can be huffed? Also, what about nail polish? The perfume smell is so strong in the bathroom some mornings when our 17yr old gets out that it causes me to have an asthma attack.She will have red, blood shot eyes and act like she's high. She does have history of huffing. The proffessonal's that work with her say it's ok for her to have nail polish & for her to have a highlighter in her purse. I've asked them about the perfume but they can't tell me anything or seem to concerned. Please can someone tell me?

Unknown 6 years ago

I am addicted to it until recently...i had inhaled and as i was in a sitting position it felt like my spine had disconected as i leaned forward it relly felt as though my body had transformed and that is why i stopped...this is relly a bad thing to do so please stop your children from ever even trying it

G-Money 6 years ago

ClipDrone, you refer to ADD as if it is a horrible thing. In fact, I have had ADD from birth and I am about to go to a top tier university, and I am an Eagle Scout. Huffing cannot give you ADD.

emily 7 years ago

im 16 and became addicted to huffing deoderent

almost everday after skwl me and my mates would go to the traino toilets and get high... i admit the highs that you get are great but a few weeks ago my mum caught me doing it the pain that i see in her eyes when she has to leave me home alone kills me.

i told her i had stopped but up until a few days ago i was still doing it after school

i was doing a lil reserch on it and found a story of a man you was a police officer whos wife had walked into her sons room and found him dead because he had been doing the same thing as me i emediently saw an image of my mum walking into my room and finding me dead. my father is also a policeman so the story touch me and i vow that i shall never do anything like this again

runner 7 years ago

I support throwing out the crap, but these kids need help. There is a reason underlying that needs addressing...please see a counsellor.

jean 7 years ago

Just threw away 6 bottles of nail polish and remover. 20 y/o son is doing something, and I have a gut feeling it's huffing it.

Anonymous 7 years ago

Do your due diligence. If you suspect this, then by all means remove any and everything from you home. We have gone to non aerosol everything. There is no paint, sprays, pain thinners, glue, or ANYTHING in my home anymore. I can't always control what goes on in other homes, but I certainly can in my own.

RH 7 years ago

My 14 year old son now has Epilepsy because of huffing axe deodorant spray. i use to come home and the whole basement(where his room is)would smell of axe spray. He said him and his cousin would have axe spraying fights. One night he fell and hit his head splitting it open and had to get 8 staples. A week later he had a major seizure. Had a couple more and after MRI's and an EEG test found out he is now Epileptic. A can of spray should last awhile. If you see empty cans lying around and they seem to be going through spray unusually fast, they are probably huffing the stuff. He hit his head while huffing i found out later from his sister. Watch your kids close cause if they are huffing they usually will not admit to it, too many dangers or death from doing this crap!

andre 7 years ago

i sniffed axe deoderent many times and i am glad that god let me live affter all that i now live a sober life help your kids before its to late

Jason 7 years ago

Damn, I am 15 and it is amazing how ignorant some of you people sound... Stop freaking out an investigate.. When they are not home go through there room and check for empty cans. This includes the following..

Axe / Other deodorant spray cans

Bathroom scenting / House Spray (Like outs for example)

Any paint or other chemicals lying around..


Lock up any chemicals that you don't want your kid to get into.. It's as simple as that.. Don't tell me its to hard cause my mother was a foster parent and I know how easy it is to go to wal*mart and get a plastic cabinet lock.

How to investigate

Go through the house start looking around check all the cans that are running low.. Go to the store buy some bathroom spray.. Put one in each bathroom and have an extra left over somewhere.. Wait a few days and let him / her know that there is an extra in the cabinet in-case one runs out.. Wait a few days and start checking the container to see how much is in each of the cans...

Wow, im 15 and I could figure that out AMAZING!

jodi 7 years ago

We suspect our nethew who is only 13 of doing this, for a while now cans of deoderant and air freshners have been going missing and have been thrown over the next door neighbours yard empty, the other day my sister found a bed sheet in his drawer which smelt very strongly of deoderant, we have been questioning him for a while about his change of mood, aggresion, depression, etc. My sister had a phone call from my nethews school saying he had been falling asleep in class, after being taken to the doctors with Mouth Ulcers and pains in his chest, the dr bought it to my sisters attention that he thought it was a sign of drug abuse, how can we help him ? he is very difficult to get through to ! Could it be to late and does anyone no of a support group for him to maybe talk to people more his own age about this we live in sydney australia


phoenix 7 years ago

Let us be serious! Anything can be abused and cash can be wasted in many ways. Buying too many pairs of shoes is one thing, but mutilating your body is never the answer to bordom, pressure from friends, or comfort. Just think our bodies can barely break down the sugars we take in. If you think your parents or grandparents would disapprove, then you will probably think that way when you are their age. What are we here for. Do we want a better world? If you don't want to be productive, creative and feel good about yourself inside and out, then now is the time to take action and make a change. As a teen or even a child know when something like this is a bad idea. Just remember kids, "Drugs, no matter what form they take, will change your life forever. It is easier to say "no" than to change a bad lifestyle. It is a waste of money, time and health. I will be happy when I get my body to function like it should, and when I am 80 I will be thankfull. I am attaching the DEA's url. I hope it shows some insight on the matter. If not there are many more places to find help. Sometimes a simple explanation and the passion of love and caring and honest LISTENING will guide our young down the right path. Sustance abuse is illegal. A life of drugs is not worth the prosecution, fines, stress, hospital bills. Most of all each one of you is important. Love is strong, give to others, be the person you want to grow up to be. Live life to it's full potential. It's never too late to say no.

shawntee 7 years ago


tracy 7 years ago


beth 8 years ago

I found a torch my nephew and his friends had awhile back. Next I found a fire extinguisher with the hose cut off. I told my mom and she told my sister--his mother. I was worried, but more so of a fire as I didn't realize what "huffing" is. Tonight, I found this nephew and his friends had gone into a small enclosed room in the house with spray paint,,which I had seen my nephew shaking earlier but didn't think much of it. he is a good kid but I am woried so I confronted both him and my sister. My nephew is athletic and smart, but I have recently noticed a severe change in his attitude--he gets very irratated easily. I am beside myself with worry as my sister seems to take this info with a grain of salt,,after all, her kid wouldn't lie to her nor do such a thing---she thinks. HOW can I get through to both of them before a tragedy occurs??

lilly1 8 years ago

i am 11 and what is huffing i mean what if someone does it on accident (huffs) and their parents think they r on what this topic is about i am confused and i would never huff

John 8 years ago

My son started huffing then turned gay.

Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 9 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas Author

Zach, there should be ad links to resources for dealing with your child's problem on this page. If not, check your local phone book, or search the web for help. Schools should also have information about what's available in your area. Fight hard.

zach 9 years ago

My 10 year old is already involved with drugs from his friends..... I need help!

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Lela Davidson 9 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas Author

Find out why.

BONNIE MELTON 9 years ago


Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 9 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas Author

This is a drug addiction. You have to ask for help. Here are just a few links:

Bradley 9 years ago

I have done this.I am not going to lie, I didn't do it either as a "tryout" I got addictied, I am addicted... even the spray you put on your shoes to protect them from weather...I spray it in my shoe, then I shove my face into my shoe, and breathe in and out... fast and slow... I like it, and I need help though...Links to help?

ClipDrone 9 years ago

When I was in High School (10 years ago) I knew a kid who did this. Within probably two years he was diagnosed with ADD. Now he holds a very basic job building cabinets. What was his potential? Much more. He used to be "gifted" and in honors.

Mary Ann 9 years ago

I'm so glad you addressed this issue. One of my cousins, at the age of 14, died from huffing deodorant almost 30 years ago. As parents we need to realize this is one high that we make readily available. We also need to be aware that it is happening in the schools. Two girls were caught huffing in the bathroom at a middle school my daughter attended last year.

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