Sniffing is an act of inhaling substance right from the container of the substance. Sniffing involves either pouring or spraying a substance on a cloth and holding that soaked cloth to the nose or placing it in the mouth. And bagging is where fumes from the substance are trapped in a bag and then held to the face so that the fumes can be inhaled. So basically they’re all an act of drawing up smell through the nose but not just any smell but concentrated chemicals found at homes, household cleaners, stationary shops, etc. that are cheap and easily accessible legally.
What is substance abuse?
These substances are known as inhalants. They are a myriad and assorted group of chemicals whose vapours or smell can be inhaled in order to produce mind-altering effects. A vast majority of these products easily available and are commonly found in homes, stores, etc. These substances contain a distinguished high when inhale. These products were not designed to cause addiction or to even induce intoxicating effects.
Inhalants mostly found in homes have volatile solvents and aerosols. Volatile solvents are nothing but liquids that when kept at room temperature, vaporize. They include:
- Degreasers are grease stains cleaning agents used in the kitchen
- Paint thinners or removers are used to clean off or dissolve paint
- Correction fluid, they are whiteners used to correct mistakes in writing.
- Felt-tip marker fluid, they are highlighters, to highlight a text.
- Lighter fluid, they are fluids used to refill lighters.
- Electronic contact cleaners, they are used to clean electronic devices.
- Glue, used for crafts and art projects.
Aerosols are found in sprays and are most commonly abused inhalants. Theys include:
- Spray paints
- Fabric protector sprays
- Hair or deodorant sprays
- Vegetable oil sprays
- Whipped cream aerosols
- Aerosol computer cleaning products
Addiction is characterized by a compulsive habit formed due to rewarding stimuli that has an ill effect on an individual. Inhalants are on a rapid widespread amongst the teenagers and young adults because of its easy availability and low cost. Most teens and adolescents engaging in this behaviour is an outcome of a maladaptive coping strategy in order to combat various stressors in life (academic pressure, family conflicts, peer pressure, mental health problems, etc).
When used and taken at higher concentrations these inhalants, substances and chemicals can induce and cause nausea, memory loss, emotional disturbances, violent behaviour or psychosis. A common ingredient found in these inhalants is toluene, which is an aromatic hydrocarbon which causes intoxication similar to alcohol intoxication when sniffed or inhaled. Abusing these inhalants over a long period of time can cause irreversible brain damage.