By Crystal D. McCage

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While the effect may be spectacular, it can also be deadly. Serious damage to the lungs can occur. • An unexpected source of lead poisoning in children comes from inhaling gasoline products. The lead from the fuel vapors gets in through the lungs and accumulates in the body. Major neurological damage can occur, resulting in impaired learning and even death. • Glue and gasoline can cause uncontrolled spasms and ultimately damage bone marrow, leading to pernicious anemia. Also, extended use can lead to leaking bladder and anal sphincters.

Nitrous oxide replaces oxygen in the lungs . . it can lead to fatal asphyxiation. ” —Martin Barnes, “Purge on ‘Lethal’ Laughing Gas in Clubs and Bars,” Times (London), March 2007. uk. Barnes is the chief executive of the charity Drug-Scope, a nonprofit informational organization in Britain dedicated to increasing awareness of the dangers of drug abuse. “ An important lesson I learned after treatment was that my supposed friends only liked me when I was high. I also learned I didn’t like me when I was high.

Half of these deaths occurred in children under the age of 18, and the youngest to die was a 7-year-old. Clearly, abuse of these chemicals is something to be concerned about. Abuse has continued to be a significant issue in the United States, even as use of other drugs has declined in recent years. Most agree that there is much work to be done when it comes to preventing inhalant abuse, but the practical uses of these chemicals in our everyday lives have made them difficult to control. Undoubtedly, inhalants will continue to be a problem in our society and others throughout the world.

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Inhalants by Crystal D. McCage

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