What are the effects of solvent use?

What are the signs of solvent use? My brother has started hanging out with a new group of friends and has developed blisters around his nose. Should I tell someone? What should I do?

Solvents are very dangerous and it is important that the warning signs are identified as soon as possible. There are physical signs that can give it away – the most common include blisters around the nose and mouth area – and you’ve obviously recognised these.

Physical behaviour after sniffing solvents can be similar to being drunk and only last for about 45 minutes. Keeping an eye out for a combination of these effects will help to identify if someone is using solvents. Of course, it is always important not to jump to conclusions and having an open, non-judgemental conversation is really the best way to support someone.

Gas fuels such as lighter fluid give off vapours that are inhaled through the mouth and nose. Some people put a plastic bag over their heads to get the full effects of the vapours. This is dangerous because it can lead to suffocation. This is only one of the many risks of sniffing.

For advice on what to do if you think someone you know is sniffing you can ring the Re-Solv helpline on 01785 810762. To find out about local young people’s drug and alcohol support services in your area you can contact Frank on 0300 123 6600

Answered by Addaction on 05-Jun-2014

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