Who’s doing it and why?

People of all ages abuse inhalants but unfortunately, the statistics on inhalants report that they are most often abused by some teens in middle school. In a study of 8th, 10th and 12th graders, 8th graders had the highest rates of use, and if using, in 8th grade, these people tended to use them later in life too. This may be because inhalants can be found in some common household items and therefore more easily obtained than prescription or illegal drugs. But, they are just as dangerous (did you read the previous sub-post??).

(Source: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/inhalants/what-scope-inhalant-abuse)

Why use inhalants? People get high for a variety of reasons: to feel cool, fit in, look the part, escape…. but all of those reasons stem from one underlying common cause: Not having a strong sense of self. 

To illustrate this point, imagine a robot named Pedro. Pedro looks as human as can be. But Pedro has been programmed with a special computer chip that makes him super confident and self-assured. He feels good about who he is. Now, Pedro isn’t some super star athlete—he doesn’t have that computer chip yet. Pedro isn’t the smartest kid in school—no chip for that yet, either. Pedro isn’t even that great looking—his designer didn’t want him to be better looking than he was. So, Pedro is totally normal in many ways. But the person who designed Pedro did supply him with a computer chip for:

  • compassion for others
  • respect for himself
  • confidence in himself and his choices

With those qualities, imagine Pedro at the party Saturday night as someone tells him to sniff glue or do a “whippet…”

Pedro has no problem saying, “No thanks.” Why? Because he feels good about himself so he won’t need to get high to feel better about himself or to fit in. His computer chip gives him confidence to just be Pedro the robot.

Right. But just to hammer the point, the robot designer made another robot, Patty. Patty does not have the same computer chip for compassion, self-respect and confidence. So, when Patty, at the same party, is offered to inhale, what do you think she does? Since feeling like she fits in would give her confidence and she’s a robot with no self-confidence, she makes the choice to fit in by inhaling. 

Of course, there are other reasons why people inhale. And other robots that represent those reasons. You can probably imagine those robots. In fact, they don’t have to be robots. You might have friends who are simply looking to have fun or feel “high” for a bit. The point with the whole robot analogy is to think about what “computer chip” a person might be missing, or really, why anyone might try inhalants in the first place. 

Everyone is born with the “computer chip” of confidence and of being good enough but sadly, life sometimes inserts other chips that override the original one. Adolescence is a time when all those other computer chips tend to start interfering with the one that helps you to make solid decisions. To make sure you are not malfunctioning on a wrongly inserted computer chip, keep at your work of developing a strong sense of self. Then read on to recognize the symptoms of someone else who might be malfunctioning on inhalants….

DID YOU KNOW? Teens who inhale are more likely to have a mental health problem as well. In fact, 45% of teens admitted for inhalant use also had a psychiatric disorder.

(Source: Samhsa.gov)

Post Question:

What qualities do you think make a person able to say no to drugs?

Answer the post question here

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