Inhalant Abuse: Q&A With a Huffing Addict

Inhalant Abuse: Q&A With a Huffing Addict

Why did you start huffing? 

I was on probation for drug use and was being drug tested on a regular basis. Huffing doesn't show up on a drug test, so I decided to try it. It was cheap - the cost of a can of paint or air dust. It was a quick high. It happens in seconds. 

Did your friends huff too? 

No, none of them did and they still don't. That was part of the allure for me. I could sit in my room and huff and not be bothered by anyone. There is no drug seeking needed because your next high is always as close as the nearest retail store.  

How does huffing kill?

I have been told huffing causes seizures, heart attacks and strokes. Even though I stopped before any of those things happened to me, I have read about people who died  with the can still in their hands. 

Did you go to rehab?

I spent 28 days in an inpatient rehab center. One of the issues is that huffing is still relatively new compared to things like snorting coke or shooting heroin, so rehabs don't place a large focus on it yet. But addiction is addiction is addiction, so just about any rehab has the ability to help a huffer. 

Do you go to meetings? 

Yes and I have found that some addicts don't consider what I did as substance abuse, but it is. When you are driven to repeat a behavior 20 to 30 times a day that can kill you, it's an addiction. I am hoping that by sharing my experiences in meetings, I can get people to understand the real existence of this problem and how serious it is. 

How Long Have You Been Clean?

I just got my 90-day chip last week, and I did a month in rehab. I still avoid shopping in stores that sell spray paint or air dust. But someday, I think I will be able to do it. 

What Do You Want People to Know? 

It is important not to minimize how serious huffing is getting in this country. Think about it. You can get a can from a retail store. There is no drug dealer needed. It can pass a drug test and it is not expensive, but it destroys your brain cells, can make you violent and can kill you. More importance needs to be placed on treating huffing addicts.