A 2010 story on ABC News was typical of how inhalant abuse can be discovered in a family. Riley Foster of Indianapolis, Indiana revealed that he first began playing around with inhalants when he was twelve years old. He blacked out that first time, but soon came to like it. He began abusing more inhalants more often.
He finally was inhaling gasoline for hours as he hid out in the garage after school. He grew distant and withdrawn but his parents didn’t know why. His mother said that he didn’t spend as much time with the family, that he slept more, argued with family members more and he was quick to become irritated.
Finally, his mother found him passed out after an overdose of gasoline. When he came to, she said he was stumbling, his speech was slurred and she was afraid he was going to die.
On the website www.drugfreeworld.org, one mother was quoted as saying, “Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of our son Justin’s death. He was sixteen. He died from inhaling air freshener, an act of inhalant abuse. His senseless death rocked the worlds of all who knew him. Justin was an honors student who loved life and embraced it with enthusiasm. I will always be haunted by the question of whether Justin would be with us today had he known about the risks he was taking.”
The best you can do is to ensure that your child understands the risks before the momentary thrill of inhalant abuse can overwhelm your good advice.