Addiction Proof Your Home: 5 Household Items People Can Use to Get High
Why Addiction Proof Your Home?
Children and teens learn many things in life through trial and error. As babies, they will put anything in their mouths and seem to have zero fear. As they grow into teenagers, they may hear rumors, news, and resources about drugs, alcohol, and other substances and want to try them for themselves, without having all the information or the common sense not to try it.
Many teens use inhalants and drugs, and alcohol they find in the family home. Some reasons youth try substances include:
- Peer pressure or to fit in with others who abuse drugs
- They heard it is fun
- They want to take a risk or are seeking a thrill
- They are mimicking the adults in their lives
- They are curious about what will happen
These are some methods people use to help keep children away from drugs and alcohol that include:
- Modeling behavior, including taking a hard look at the household “norms.” Do you have a drink to unwind or pop a pill to relax or calm down when you are stressed out? This may be sending the wrong message to your children.
- Encouraging drug-resistant attitudes by promoting health and wellness, building a positive and open relationship within the family, and showing your child what consequences of behaviors will look like will help addiction-proof your child.
- Talk about drugs early, and keep the conversation open as they come to you with questions or stories about their friends or classmates. Please keep an open mind, use constructive listening, and put trust in your child, especially when they open up to you. Try to stay aware of current trends, so you know what to talk to your teens about.
- Ensure your teen knows you will pick them up from an unsafe environment no matter what, no questions asked.
The easiest way to avoid a catastrophic accident with substances around the house or your teen beginning to abuse drugs or developing a full-blown addiction is to make these substances unavailable to your kids. Addiction proofing your home means ensuring addictive substances are not readily available in bathroom cabinets and under the sink.
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Five Household Items to Consider When Addiction Proofing Your Home
When making your home addiction-proof, the five most common household items you should consider putting away or getting rid of are alcohol, prescription medications, over-the-counter medicine, inhalants, and household items that contain ethanol.
Because alcohol is a legal substance in the United States that is socially acceptable, it is the typical household substance that most young people will be most likely to abuse. Alcohol abuse can lead to reckless and dangerous behavior, including driving while intoxicated, getting into fights, and trying other substances. It can also lead to alcohol dependence and alcoholism. Don’t miss or dismiss alcoholism; it is a serious condition.
Prescription drug abuse in America is rampant these days, leading to addiction or impaired impulse control, among many other physical issues, illnesses, and even death. Many prescription medications can be found in the average American’s medicine cabinet that young people may abuse. These medications can be dangerous when abused and lead to severe illness or even death by overdose.
Always pay attention to the status of prescription drugs in your cupboards by writing them down or otherwise keeping them count. If it looks like more are missing than there should be, it may be time to talk to the other people living in your house.
Over the Counter Medications
It is essential to teach your children and teens that even medications you can buy over the counter at a pharmacy can be dangerous or even lead to death if misused. They may be just as dangerous as street drugs in some cases and can be just as addictive and destructive to a person’s life.
- Some teens will abuse cough medicine like NyQuil, Robitussin, and Vicks Formula 44 for the active ingredient Dextromethorphan (DXM). This is sometimes called “robotripping” or “triple C.”
- Stimulants can be found in diet pills, energy drinks, herbal supplements, and decongestants and are often abused in extreme attempts to lose or control weight or to feel more energetic.
- Some teens will abuse medications that contain Dramamine or diphenhydramine, found in Benadryl, a very dangerous medication that can lead to severe symptoms.
Ingesting over the counter medications in an attempt to get high can lead to serious health issues like:
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Psychological issues
- Cardiovascular damage
- Heart attack
- Motor coordination issues
- Impaired impulse control
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Errors in judgment
- Restlessness or anxiety increases
- Brain damage
- Addiction with significant withdrawal symptoms
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, inhalants are a category of chemicals found around the house or at a workplace that people inhale on purpose to feel high. These chemicals cause these feelings because they damage brain cells and nerve fibers as you inhale their fumes. They enter the bloodstream through the lungs, immediately limiting oxygen intake and replacing oxygen with volatile substances, slowing down brain activity.
Common inhalants include:
- Volatile solvents like nail polish remover, paint thinner, gasoline, contact cement, dry-cleaning fluid, glue, and felt-tip marker fluid
- Gases like butane or propane, refrigerant gases, whipped cream cans, ether, nitrous oxide, chloroform, and halothane
- Aerosols like hair spray, vegetable oil spray, fabric protector spray, and spray paint
- Nitrites like a leather cleaner, liquid aroma, room odorizer, amyl nitrite, butyl nitrite, and cyclohexyl nitrite
Conditions treated due to the use of inhalants can cause long-term brain damage, making it challenging to learn new things or carry on simple conversations. They may begin to move slowly or become clumsy due to damage to the cerebellum. Muscle spasms, tremors, and other difficulties similar to multiple sclerosis can develop.
Unfortunately, inhalants are usually the first type of drugs that children and young teens try, as they are readily available around the house. There is typically a lack of information passed on between peers at that age about the dangers of inhalants. Talk to your kids about this type of drug abuse and its dangers early, so they can avoid brain and nerve damage, preventing drug abuse by giving them the information to stop their friends from using inhalants.
Mouthwash, Perfume, Hand Sanitizer, and Vanilla Extract
There is a multitude of household products that contain large quantities of ethanol. For children and teens looking for a means to get high or are thrill-seeking, ingesting these items may feel like an easy way to achieve intoxication, and they may also do it on a dare or out of curiosity.
Everyday household items that contain ethanol include:
- Vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon extract
- Hand sanitizer
- Perfume or cologne
- Cough syrup
- Rubbing alcohol
Ingesting these items can cause alcohol poisoning. Some may contain between 20% and 35% ethanol by volume, equal to the amount of alcohol by volume found in alcoholic beverages like rum or brandy, and are highly potent.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, irregular or slow breathing, low body temperature, confusion, delirium, and cold or blue-tinted skin. If you suspect alcohol poisoning, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately, as it may result in coma or death.
Teens and children may only hear half the story from their peers, learning that drinking something like a mouthwash will “get them drunk.” Hence, an excellent approach to preventing drug or alcohol poisoning is to let them know what will happen if they drink ethanol-based household products.
Drug abuse in America is a common issue. It can be frustrating and scary to think about your teen abusing household products in dangerous ways, especially if you don’t know where to turn when things get serious. Call Muse Treatment Center today if you believe a loved one or friend is abusing household items, alcohol, prescription drugs, or other substances and may have an addiction.
We have inpatient and outpatient programs for rehabilitation from alcohol and other dependencies, post-acute withdrawal syndrome, and detox from drugs and alcoholism. We believe in incorporating evidence-based therapies with medical care, education, counseling, helpful resources, and holistic treatments like massage therapy, meditation, or including a 12-step program into a treatment plan. Patients’ families may also want to participate in family therapy sessions.
We provide a realistic approach to substance abuse treatment and addictions to prescription medications, inhalants, and more. Our treatment programs find and treat the underlying causes of addiction by providing dual diagnosis treatment for those with mental illness and the recovery tools needed to stop substance abuse and move into long-term recovery. Do not miss or dismiss your child’s substance abuse. We can provide helpful resources, guide you through the first steps to take, and assist you as you help your loved one. Call us at (800) 426-1818 today to learn more.