Huffing is a way of getting high by inhaling or sniffing the chemical contents of household products. There are three related ways they might ingest the chemicals:
Huffing is when your loved one soaks a piece of cloth in the chemicals and then presses the cloth to his or her mouth and nose to inhale the fumes.
Sniffing is snorting the fumes directly from an aerosol can.
Bagging involves dumping the chemical liquids into a plastic bag and inhaling it from the bag opening or placing the bag over the head and inhaling.
Signs that your loved one is using these methods to get high include:
Missing Products: Almost any product in an aerosol container can be used for Huffing. If the household room deodorizer, cooking spray, hair spray or computer air cleaner come up missing with no explanation, your loved one could be Huffing them. In addition, rubber cement, glue, and cigarette lighter fluid are popular things to use. Household products that do not come in aerosol cans, such as paint thinners, can also be huffed using the soaked rag method.
Change in Behavior: The high from Huffing typically lasts 15-30 minutes. If you notice slurred speech loss of coordination for that duration, Huffing may be the reason. These behaviors, coupled with finding stashes of emptied aerosol cans, should raise red flags. Sometimes, hallucinations are part of the Huffing episode.
Physical Signs: Huffing something that has a color to it, like spray paint, might cause paint marks around his or her mouth and nose. Cooking sprays, paint thinners and other clear chemicals might leave shiny wet, marks on their face. Seizures, angry outbursts and violence are possible. Because Huffing can interfere with the heart's normal rhythm, unconsciousness and death can occur.