Household Products: How Your Teen Might Be Abusing Them

Household Products: How Your Teen Might Be Abusing Them
September 2, 2014 Kim Goldman



We’ve all been warned of the dangers attached to household items, as it  relates to our babies/toddlers … have you ever stopped to think about how  your teens might be abusing those same household items?



Did you know?

1 in 4 teens in America has intentionally abuse a common household product to get high by the time they reach 8th grade. This is because paint thinner, spray paint, solvents, rubber glue, and household cleaners are far more accessible and inexpensive than prescription or illegal drugs. These products are more likely to be abused by kids in the 12-17 year age range group because they can easily get them at home or purchase them at any grocery store.

There are more than 1000 household products that teens can use to get high. Some of these products include: typewriter correction fluid, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, various types of glue, gasoline, deodorant spray, fabric protector spray, whipping cream aerosols, hair spray, and household cleaners. Not only are these items available in the home, teens can walk into any grocery store, hardware store, or pharmacy and purchase them with no questions asked.

Some Examples:

“Bagging,” “Huffing, ”“Sniffing” and “Dusting” (Inhalants)

  • “Dusting”- getting high off of computer cleaner by putting the straw inside the mouth and inhaling as the contents are sprayed
  • “Sniffing” is smelling an inhalant from the bottle or container.  Cement glue, gasoline, paint thinner, nail polish remover, whipped cream cans, cleaning fluids, and other aerosols
  • “Huffing” is soaking a rag or towel in an inhalant and putting it to the nose and mouth
  • “Bagging” is when an inhalant is placed in a bag which is then used to cover the nose and mouth and inhaled

“Robotripping”- Abusing over the counter cough syrup

  • Cough syrup and cold medicines contains DXM, or dextromethorphan, which can make users euphoric and induce hallucinations
  • In high enough doses, it can also cause death.

“Pharm Parties” are when teens bring a variety of different pills (Ex. ecstasy, valium,  percocet, xanex, etc.) and pills are taken at random

  • Teens are stealing their parents prescription pain pills
  • Risk of not only taking drugs, but also serious, medication interactions

Hand Sanitizer

  • Teens are imbibing hand sanitizer because it contains alcohol
  • They either drink the hand sanitizer straight out of the bottle, or use salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer
  • Other alcohol based product that are abuse include: mouthwash, vanilla extract, and perfume

Nutmeg and the Cinnamon Challenge

  • Nutmeg contains a psychoactive chemical called myristicin, which has a chemical structure similar to that of mescaline, amphetamine and Ecstasy.
  • Teens are ingesting large quantities of nutmeg because of its hallucinogenic properties, including a floating sensation
  • The Cinnamon Challenge dares an individual to eat a large, heaping tablespoon of cinnamon without water, and swallow it without spitting it out.
  • In extreme cases, Cinnamon could cause inflammation in the lungs, or collapsed lung from an extreme coughing fit.

Playing the Choking Game

  • Involves choking or strangling, manually or with a rope or belt or string, to the point of almost passing out.
  • Some kids choke their friends or hold plastic bags over a friend’s or their own heads, in an effort to achieve a “rush” or feel high.

Gummy Bears

  • Soaking Gummy Bears in Vodka
  • While teen drinking isn’t new, there are new ways teens sneak booze into school.
  • The risk is that teens have no clue how much alcohol they’re consuming



Teens who abuse common household products often look and act as if they are intoxicated from drinking alcohol.
Signs of abuse include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Excitation followed by drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Euphoria
  • Hallucinations or delusions



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