Talking to your teenager about solvent abuse

There are important pieces of advice that they should know

As our kids grow into teenagers there comes a time when you have to talk to them about a lot of different but important issues. One of them that needs to be discussed is solvent abuse and the dangers attributed to it. Here we give you some information on solvent abuse and ways that you can explain to your teen about it so they are fully informed as they grow older and potentially start experimenting. 
  • Firstly a lot of young people don’t know about solvent abuse so you need to explain that it is when someone deliberately breathes in gases given off by some household products. The household products can be aerosol cans or even correction fluid and it is easily accessible as a lot of the items are available at home so it can go undetected unlike smoking or drinking. 
  • When a person breathes in these hazardous gasses it can cause them to become dizzy, lightheaded and drowsy. In more extreme cases it can cause nausea, hallucinations and potential long term effects to the person’s organs like their heart, liver and kidneys. In some more extreme case it has been known to cause brain damage and people have been known to pass out and die by choking on their own vomit so adolescents have to be careful and mind others around them.  The person abusing can become incoherent unable to hear, see or possibly think and they might come to harm caused by injuries sustained by believing themselves to be untouchable. 
  • Even if your teenager is in company of others using aerosol cans to achieve a ‘high’ they are still open to being injured as if anyone in the room lights a cigarette they could potentially cause a fire or a blast that could ravage the youngsters in a heartbeat. While your teenager may be responsible, they need to know that even sitting in the same room as them can put them at risk. It is better to tell your teenager to be careful in these situations and advise their friends of the dangers and if they are unable to prevent their pals from abusing solvents they should leave and call an adult they trust. There is no room for error in these instances and hanging around could cost your teen. 
  • Some teens will always experiment but if they are fully understanding of the ramifications of solvent abuse it might save them down the line as in some cases the youngsters weren’t informed of the dangers. It is easy for them to make mistakes but if they do open up to you try not to be judgemental and fly off the handle as you need your teen to know you can be trusted and they can share things with you as this will only benefit you both in the future. 
If this is something that you have been affected by or would like to find out more you can get further information here.
If you have any doubts about someone being affected by solvent abuse seek medical help immediately.
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