Suffering Economy Causes Increase In Solvent Abuse

by AdamS on August 18, 2012

The bad state of the economy in America and Europe over the last 5 years has forced people to cut back on more expensive things and frivolous expenditures.  More and more Americans and Europeans are finding ways to save more money and avoid bankruptcy while the stock market continues to perform poorly.  The downturn in the economy has also had an effect on drug addicts in America.  Most people suffering from drug addiction have had trouble maintaining their drug habit because of how expensive drugs like cocaine or oxycontin are.  This has caused a significant rise in the number of people who have switched from those drugs to cheaper means of getting high, such as huffing solvents. These individuals will eventually need help from drug treatment programs to get clean. Check out for more information on drug treatment.

The Huffing Problem

A lot of individuals have turned to huffing chemicals in order to get high.  The process of huffing involves getting a plastic or paper bag and placing a dangerous chemical like paint thinner, nail polish remover, industrial glue, hair spray, or white out inside of the bag.  The individual then takes the bag and places it over their face, repeatedly inhaling and exhaling the dangerous chemicals and essentially starving their brains of oxygen.  When the brain does not get enough oxygen, it begins to cause a feeling of disorientation and the body releases chemicals that cause the feeling of relaxation and euphoria.

Deadly Consequences

Huffing solvents is extremely dangerous, and it can even be deadly.  By starving the body of precious oxygen, the individual can black out and not be able to remove the bag from their face causing death by suffocation.  Another problem with huffing solvents is how easy they are to acquire.  Paint thinner, hair spray, white out, and nail polish remover are all very easy products to purchase even for children.  In some parts of Europe, such as Ireland as many as 20% of all 15-18 year old drug abusers experiment with solvents.

Long Term Side Effects of Solvent Abuse

Along with the initial feelings of dizziness and euphoria, the side effects of solvent abuse can be staggering.  The short term effects are red rashes around the mouth and nose, as well as acute headaches.  However, the long term side effects can be very devastating.  Huffing has been linked to permanent liver, heart and kidney damage as well as some very profound brain damage in some cases.  Solvent abuse is responsible for over seventy deaths a year, with most of its victims being under the age of 20.

As the economy in the United States and Europe continues to struggle, more and more people will be turning to solvents as a way to get a quick, cheap high.  This kind of behavior is very dangerous and huffing solvents can cause serious long term side effects or even death in some cases.  The real problem is that solvents are cheap and easy to purchase even by children and teens who are especially susceptible to side effects of abusing them.  Solvent abuse and drug addiction is becoming a bigger and bigger problem around the world and needs to be carefully monitored. Go to for information on drug addiction.

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