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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I've always liked the smell of certain "fumes" - for ex., I've really enjoyed the smell of brand new cars, and have even found myself enjoying the smell of gasoline - but, until about 2000, I don't think it was ever a compulsion, and I didn't go out of my way to "seek" these pleasurable fumes. Well, about nine years ago - I suddenly developed the compulsion to sniff the the fumes of widely-available household items like rubbing-alcohol and nail polish remover. I would get an irresistable craving - and then go saturate two cotton balls with either rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover and sniff the cotton balls "dry". For some odd reason, I just craved sniffing the fumes from these products...it would give me a pleasurable feeling to take "long drags" of these saturated cotton balls.

I've compared this habit to smoking cigarettes, or even marijuana. I don't get "high" or anything - my behavior isn't altered - I just get a sense of pleasure and a sense that a craving is being deeply satisfied.

Since 2000, this craving has come and gone - it varies in severity. Sometimes (or often), the desire is there - but I'm able to resist it (I know it's unhealthy to sniff these fumes). Sometimes, the desire is mild enough that I would just take a few "sniffs" straight from the container of the rubbing alcohol or nail-polish remover. Other times - the craving is strong and irresistable enough to use the saturated cotton balls (which yield a large, relatively long-lasting source of these pleasurable fumes).

I've found that I like all kinds of fumes - from the smell of new carpet, to the fumes from "White Out", nail polish, the fumes from big black "Magic Markers", some glues, gasoline, etc. But since rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover are constantly available - and the fumes from these products are so "accessible" - these have been my two primary sources of this weird gratification.

I've just wondered where this craving comes from, and if anyone else has had weird "sniffing" cravings/habits similar to this?
 

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You realize people die from this? It can destroy your lungs. Even if you don't do it constantly, over a long period of time it will do the same thing. They are toxic chemicals and they can cause brain damage besides.

Sure, we might like the smell of a magic marker, but to sit there obsessively sniffing it, or even to the point of dousing a cotton ball in a certain chemical.. things like that are not normal and can definitely have serious consequences. Only you know for sure if you are out of control with this or not, but I would definitely say that anything more than normal passing inhalation during use is dangerous and you need to think carefully about this.
 

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Not a good idea. Like the above post said.

Although, sometimes I will clean the house just for the sake of the smell. I don't derive any sort of a high from, but cleaning product kind of smell good and I like being around chemicals for some reason. The kitchen in my apartment is completely spotless because I'm just so overzealous with the Lysol.
 

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I'm not exactly sure what to say. Yeah, it's bad, stop doing it, but that much is obvious. This is the easiest way to deplete your brain cells and kill yourself if done on a daily basis.

It's interesting though, that you are so drawn to the fumes...if you want to know more about it you should ask a doctor. My friend told me she always had a natural affinity for inhaling fumes when she was a kid, unconcious of the effects, and I guess she just always had drug-lust in her blood because now she's doing all sorts of crazy ****.

The point to that story, though, is that she likes getting high...which is exactly what you're doing, believe it or not. Getting high is fascinating to the human psyche...which is why you find huffing so enjoyable. The end.

But don't do it. :sus
 

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It sounds like your huffing more as a compulsion than to get high.

I think you should definitely talk to a doctor about this because it is still destroying your mind and you could die from this.

Huffing inhalants is one the most dangerous forms of drug abuse. People often think it is safer then doing "illegal drugs" because these are usually household products.

It is particularly worrying that you sniff cotton balls dry of rubbing alcohol. This can kill you and has already killed many neurons in your brain. Whether you realize it or not, this behavior does produce a short lived high. It is possible that you are addicted to inhalants and simply dont recognize this.
 

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somewhat

I mean sniffing fumes isn't as much of a compulsion for me as it seems to be for you-but I do kinda get where ur coming from-but just to let u know-I have NEVER in my life smoked cigarettes or anything illegal, or had so much as a sip of alcohol, or taken pills or whatever-maybe that's why im kinda like u-cuz I want to try drugs........anyway,
like for me I do it on a weak less hardcoreway than you-like I love the smell of sharpies, dry erase board markers, whiteout, nail polish, rubber/paper cement(it's a kind of glue) and I used to hate nail polish remover cuz the first couple times I smelled it just cuz I wanted to see what it smelled like, I smelled it really hard and it hurt deep inside my nose for like 2 seconds-but then a couple months ago I started taking little whiffs of nail polish remover and I liked it-but now im in a new state and i didnt bring it with me and I don't have the need to go buy it-so i dont have this compulsion as bad as you0but now that u gave me that cotton balls tip, i may have to try that
but like I also LOVE the smell of wall paint-i wish i had a bucket of it at all times!-and when I walk by a gas station I enjoy the smell of gasoline, and I also love the smell of fixative(an artist spray thing) but I dont let myself smell it cuz the vapors are really harmful-
AND I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE THE SMELL OF RAIN! thats not bad but i thought it was a weird smell thing so I just wanted to share that with you
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I knew that sniffing these substances was not healthy - and that it was pretty critical that I minimize my "indulgences" as much as possible - but I'm afraid that I didn't quite realize just how serious this is. And I've been living under the assumption that I haven't done much serious damage to my mind/body by this habit - well, this thread is a rude wake-up call. I've said many times on here that I've been suffering from a "cognitive decline" - that my thinking and my brain just aren't (nearly) as sharp as they used to be - but I've attributed these problems to everything from the progression of my mental illness, "stress hormones", the (unacknowledged) damage of psychiatric medication, hormonal imbalances, etc. Now, I guess, I can add "inhalant abuse" as one of the "evils" that are destroying my mind and body. I'll have to put it near the top of the list.

You know, I have talked to doctors/therapists about this - and, generally-speaking, they have been unable to give me any insight as to the causes or origins of this compulsion. And they certainly didn't talk to me in the alarmist tones that some of you in this thread have - they didn't stress to me as you guys have the damage I've done, or can do, to myself by this habit. These professionals really did nothing to change my underlying attitude of, "Well - I've never done any 'real' drug and don't drink alcohol - so, I'm not that bad off." My current psychiatrist did mention to me that inhaling fumes kills brain cells; she said this in the context of my wondering aloud to her whether or not prescription psychiatric medication kills brain cells. Her statement (which she said pretty casually) alarmed me - but it wasn't quite the wake-up call that this thread has been. :sigh

Ironically - as far as finding "answers" to this problem - I helped myself more than any of the mental health professionals to whom I mentioned my problem helped me. In 2004, I remember speculating to a counselor that my problem may have to do with some sort of "nutritional deficiency" - but her response was quite dismissive of my theory. However, I somehow "followed up" on my hunch....and ended up taking either iron supplements or a multivitamin containing iron (I can't remember which). Surely enough, after taking these supplements for awhile, my cravings diminished or disappeared entirely. This is around the time I found out about "Pica" - which is a condition that results from iron deficiency - in which someone develops weird cravings. The more common "strange" cravings that result from Pica are a craving to eat dirt, ice, styrofoam, or things like that - but I concluded that people are medically unique, and that my own Pica quite probably results in cravings to sniff inhalants like rubbing alcohol and nail-polish remover. (I recently enountered someone who has an irresistable craving to sniff/eat mothballs. Multiple people told her that she probably has Pica.) My conclusion seemed to hold up - because in the years since my "discovery", I've continued to notice a correlation between my "iron status" and my inhalant cravings.

See - right around the time when my compulsion to sniff inhalants surfaced for the first time, I was suffering from really heavy, irregular periods. As you may know, women are more at risk for iron-deficiency/anemia (and hence, Pica) because of the blood-loss that comes with monthly periods. The heavier the periods are, the more iron that is lost - and if heavy periods are a problem, then an iron deficiency can really progress to severe levels. There is also another factor that I'm aware of that can deplete the body's iron stores - mercury toxicity - and more and more, I've been suspecting that I may be mercury toxic.

I also noticed my inhalant cravings increasing when I was taking alpha-lipoic acid. I was taking alpha-lipoic acid for its supposed antioxidant properties (it's supposed to be a great brain antioxidant) - but alpha-lipoic acid also has a reputation for being a good chelator of mercury and other "dangerous" heavy metals from the body. But if alpha-lipoic acid is capable of chelating the heavy metals like mercury and lead from the body, then it is also capable of chelating the metals/minerals that we actually need in certain amounts - like iron. So while I was expecting great things from alpha-lipoic acid, I had to stop taking it because I was experiencing its downside (which, of course - isn't as expounded upon on many of the websites that hype alpha-lipoic acid, b/c many of these sites sell the supplement).

It's just so unfortunate and maddening to me that - because of all of the different things that have gone awry in my mind/body - the anxiety, the depression, medication side-effects, hormonal imbalances, etc. - I ended up being so driven to indulge in a habit that has inflicted further damage. Factors that were/are beyond my control were/are responsible for my irresistable urge to sniff inhalants. I've experienced a full array of brain-damaging things - since anxiety itself is damaging to the brain.

Btw, before you say, "Just take more iron" - there are some "complicating factors" that prevent me from supplementing iron at this time. I won't expound on these factors b/c this post is already very long - but right now, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard-place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not exactly sure what to say. Yeah, it's bad, stop doing it, but that much is obvious. This is the easiest way to deplete your brain cells and kill yourself if done on a daily basis.

It's interesting though, that you are so drawn to the fumes...if you want to know more about it you should ask a doctor. My friend told me she always had a natural affinity for inhaling fumes when she was a kid, unconcious of the effects, and I guess she just always had drug-lust in her blood because now she's doing all sorts of crazy ****.

The point to that story, though, is that she likes getting high...which is exactly what you're doing, believe it or not. Getting high is fascinating to the human psyche...which is why you find huffing so enjoyable. The end.

But don't do it. :sus
O.k. - back from eating "dinner"...

Ummm - I don't particularly care for the presumputousness of parts of your post - such as your telling me that I'm getting high and why I'm finding huffing so enjoyable. You don't know me, you've never seen me do this - you don't know the physiology of my mind/body and what forces are at work that compel me to do this. Heck, even the doctors and other qualified mental health professionals whom I've talked to about this didn't "read my mind" as you did and tell me why I enjoy this.

And I'm not sure what definition of "high" you're using - but believe me, a "high" is not what I'm seeking when I do this. Would you say that cigarette smokers get "high" when they smoke? Or would you say that an addiction - such as the one that cigarette smokers have - doesn't necessarily lead to a "high"? (I make the cigarette comparision because when I "sniff" - the effects are such that it seems a lot closer to cigarette-smoking than "weed" smoking, or cocaine-snorting.) If cigarette smokers got "high" - this country would be a lot more messed up than it is, as millions of people coming from cigarette breaks while on the job would have "altered senses" and end up making bad decisions.

I see that you feel so strongly about this topic that you came back to "ditto" DontTrusttheGov't's post - I can only hope that your strong feelings come from a good place. If you're that concerned about my health, I appreciate the concern.
 

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O.k. - back from eating "dinner"...

Ummm - I don't particularly care for the presumputousness of parts of your post - such as your telling me that I'm getting high and why I'm finding huffing so enjoyable. You don't know me, you've never seen me do this - you don't know the physiology of my mind/body and what forces are at work that compel me to do this. Heck, even the doctors and other qualified mental health professionals whom I've talked to about this didn't "read my mind" as you did and tell me why I enjoy this.

And I'm not sure what definition of "high" you're using - but believe me, a "high" is not what I'm seeking when I do this. Would you say that cigarette smokers get "high" when they smoke? Or would you say that an addiction - such as the one that cigarette smokers have - doesn't necessarily lead to a "high"? (I make the cigarette comparision because when I "sniff" - the effects are such that it seems a lot closer to cigarette-smoking than "weed" smoking, or cocaine-snorting.) If cigarette smokers got "high" - this country would be a lot more messed up than it is, as millions of people coming from cigarette breaks while on the job would have "altered senses" and end up making bad decisions.

I see that you feel so strongly about this topic that you came back to "ditto" DontTrusttheGov't's post - I can only hope that your strong feelings come from a good place. If you're that concerned about my health, I appreciate the concern.
Sounds like someone might be in denial...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I mean sniffing fumes isn't as much of a compulsion for me as it seems to be for you-but I do kinda get where ur coming from-but just to let u know-I have NEVER in my life smoked cigarettes or anything illegal, or had so much as a sip of alcohol, or taken pills or whatever-maybe that's why im kinda like u-cuz I want to try drugs........anyway,
like for me I do it on a weak less hardcoreway than you-like I love the smell of sharpies, dry erase board markers, whiteout, nail polish, rubber/paper cement(it's a kind of glue) and I used to hate nail polish remover cuz the first couple times I smelled it just cuz I wanted to see what it smelled like, I smelled it really hard and it hurt deep inside my nose for like 2 seconds-but then a couple months ago I started taking little whiffs of nail polish remover and I liked it-but now im in a new state and i didnt bring it with me and I don't have the need to go buy it-so i dont have this compulsion as bad as you0but now that u gave me that cotton balls tip, i may have to try that
but like I also LOVE the smell of wall paint-i wish i had a bucket of it at all times!-and when I walk by a gas station I lenjoy the smell of gasoline, and I also love the smell of fixative(an artist spray thing) but I dont let myself smell it cuz the vapors are really harmful-
AND I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE THE SMELL OF RAIN! thats not bad but i thought it was a weird smell thing so I just wanted to share that with you
Finally someone who can relate. :) Thanks for getting where I'm coming from - although, per the info posted, this is not healthy and it would behoove us to eliminate our desires as much as possible. (Although it sounds like you don't have a "problem", per se - like I do.)

According to one website that I scanned (in light of the alarmist info presented in this thread) - paint is one of the worst...if not the worst - killer of brain cells. I'm not sure how credible this site was - but I'd say that this site was at least on the right track, as paint fumes aren't something that we want to be indulging in, if we can at all help it.

Like you - I've never done any illegal drugs, and so far, haven't smoked any cigarettes, and have only drank alcohol like, 4 times in my life. But I admit that the craving has been there at times, or a "curiosity" (especially recently) - but so far the only things I've actually indulged in are these fumes from common household products.

You said you may have to try what I'm doing - lol - that's what I said to the person on the other messageboard who admitted to sniffing/chewing mothballs. :b

My mom - who's about as "straightlaced" as you can get - has also said that she loves the fumes from the same products we're talking about. I don't know if she's "sniffed" as compulsively and as "extensively" as I have...if she has, she may be reluctant to admit it. Her attitude is, "Who hasn't enjoyed these fumes?" - but perhaps that reflects the extent of her "enjoyment" of the fumes, rather than some widespread problem. When I told her of the alarmist posts here and the extent of the dangers that I learned today - she didn't really buy it. And she's a retired RN, so you would think that she would be in a position to know these things.

Are you female? Because women are at a much higher risk for "Pica" (that I mentioned above) - and this could be the reason for your "enjoyment" of these fumes. Your iron may be low - from what I understand, it could still be low even if you're not technically "anemic". Your hemoglobin and hematocrit may be in "normal" ranges, but you could still too low in iron for your body's liking. According to some doctors and health advocates, a healthy ferritin level (storage iron) ranges from 40 to 70 (or even higher) - but a lot of women have ferritin levels much lower than this. (The last time I had my ferritin level tested, it was 12.) To the best of my knowledge (and I'm no expert), you can work to raise your ferritin levels as long as you don't have a source of oxidative stress in your body such as mercury-toxicity. But be careful - your ferritin may be low for a "good reason" (such as the "iron-dumping" that comes with mercury-toxicity. Mercury and iron are synergistic toxins). And you want to take a lot of antioxidants along with iron supplements, since iron is a pro-oxidant.

Here's a post I just found from Inhalant.org (http://messageboard.inhalant.org/post?id=3471709) that "validates" the link between low-iron/Pica and inhalant abuse:

hi all, i just wanted to say that i've finally worked up the courage to tell my dr. about my inhalant issues.

i've suffered with the heavy burden of silence and the shame that secrecy can lord over you. the last thing many of us can imagine doing is sharing something we are so embarrassed by with someone, perhaps particularly if they are in an esteemed position. i've chewed styrofoam (to release the chemicals that bind it together) for more years of my life that i remember than not... and have recently been able to stop with the aid of iron supplements.

i wanted to confirm this connection since thus far it has only been my speculation. oddly enough, i was never quite willing to do it for myself. since i am now getting to an age and lifestyle (soon to be married) where kids may come in the picture soon, I wanted to know once and for all and to make sure i was as healthy as i possibly could be.

well, i braced myself and just told her what i had been doing and how i found the iron pills to be of so much help.

she did not: freak out, look at me like i was crazy, kick me out of the office or any of the other irrational fears i had about telling her.

instead she nodded in an understanding manner, listened, and set about matter of factly telling me what i needed to know. namely that the iron factor was real and does in fact lead many women to crave various smells and substances. it can be called PICA even if the item isnt actually ingested. those things can range from ammonia, nail polish and remover, gasoline, cleaning products, dirt, cornstarch, and surely many other things. in can especially affect pregnant women as the baby is taking the lions share of vital nutrients in the body. which is key for me as i plan to start a family within the next year or so..

it was so not a big deal that im kicking myself for not saying something years ago..god, when i was a teenager (im now 30) doctors were telling me my iron was low and i should do something about it. i never linked the two and never took my health seriously enough to really listen. its funny how the things we sometimes wont do for ourselves we will do for other people. i would never want my parents to bury me. my fiance to lose me and my little doggie whom i love like a baby to ever wonder where i was and if i was ever coming home.
so i urge you, it's not as bad as you think it will be! you will be so relieved and will have made the first vital step to getting better. doctors are here to help you not redicule or mock you. the words are hard to say but the benefits are so worth it. i know its scary and i had a hard time spitting it out but i did it and im so glad!!
 

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kintrovert!

OMG-I am female and some things had led me to believe that I had low iron levels even before I read ur post-I mean its not like I can do anything about it now cuz I don't have health insurance but when I get a job and start making money, I'll be sure to do something about it- I even bought some cheap iron vitamins a couple years ago but didnt really take em cuz I thought what's the point So Thanks

Finally someone who can relate. :) Thanks for getting where I'm coming from - although, per the info posted, this is not healthy and it would behoove us to eliminate our desires as much as possible. (Although it sounds like you don't have a "problem", per se - like I do.)

According to one website that I scanned (in light of the alarmist info presented in this thread) - paint is one of the worst...if not the worst - killer of brain cells. I'm not sure how credible this site was - but I'd say that this site was at least on the right track, as paint fumes aren't something that we want to be indulging in, if we can at all help it.

Like you - I've never done any illegal drugs, and so far, haven't smoked any cigarettes, and have only drank alcohol like, 4 times in my life. But I admit that the craving has been there at times, or a "curiosity" (especially recently) - but so far the only things I've actually indulged in are these fumes from common household products.

You said you may have to try what I'm doing - lol - that's what I said to the person on the other messageboard who admitted to sniffing/chewing mothballs. :b

My mom - who's about as "straightlaced" as you can get - has also said that she loves the fumes from the same products we're talking about. I don't know if she's "sniffed" as compulsively and as "extensively" as I have...if she has, she may be reluctant to admit it. Her attitude is, "Who hasn't enjoyed these fumes?" - but perhaps that reflects the extent of her "enjoyment" of the fumes, rather than some widespread problem. When I told her of the alarmist posts here and the extent of the dangers that I learned today - she didn't really buy it. And she's a retired RN, so you would think that she would be in a position to know these things.

Are you female? Because women are at a much higher risk for "Pica" (that I mentioned above) - and this could be the reason for your "enjoyment" of these fumes. Your iron may be low - from what I understand, it could still be low even if you're not technically "anemic". Your hemoglobin and hematocrit may be in "normal" ranges, but you could still too low in iron for your body's liking. According to some doctors and health advocates, a healthy ferritin level (storage iron) ranges from 40 to 70 (or even higher) - but a lot of women have ferritin levels much lower than this. (The last time I had my ferritin level tested, it was 12.) To the best of my knowledge (and I'm no expert), you can work to raise your ferritin levels as long as you don't have a source of oxidative stress in your body such as mercury-toxicity. But be careful - your ferritin may be low for a "good reason" (such as the "iron-dumping" that comes with mercury-toxicity. Mercury and iron are synergistic toxins). And you want to take a lot of antioxidants along with iron supplements, since iron is a pro-oxidant.

Here's a post I just found from Inhalant.org (http://messageboard.inhalant.org/post?id=3471709) that "validates" the link between low-iron/Pica and inhalant abuse:
 

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For the love of God, don't sniff fumes. Shooting heroin is safer compared to doing that. I'm not exaggerating.
 

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Yes, people die from this. It's not a good thing, and if I were you, I'd stop doing it right away. You're destroying your brain, not to mention your nose.
 

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***Thread Lock Watch***
We need to watch the posts on this subject - they could contain triggers for some. Otherwise, you are giving out ideas and that's not cool either.
 

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Fumes are not my thing. If I have to use any solvents or such I like a well-ventilated room as instructed.
 

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In my last job I worked in residential program for the chronically mentally ill. In the one group home we had this one guy that damaged his brain from sniffing glue. If you seen him you would quit this behavior. The guys brain was gone. He would come to the office to ask me something and he would forget. He also would leave the house to go to a bar and forget how to get back. One time we found him walking out of town into the country. He probably would of walked to the next county if we didn't found him. He also would have a conversation with the porch railing while smoking. He finally got kicked out of the program when I caught him smoking cigarettes in his room. That was the last straw due to putting burn holes all over the carpet when he was living in our apartment unit. They moved him to the group home because he couldn't handle living on his own.
 

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As a kid i sometimes used to enjoy the smell of gasoline, whenever my parents stopped at the filling station...

but after some research i realized how unhealthy this is.

I'm not sure of the specifics, but i can almost guarantee you that there is a direct link between a habit of sniffing fumes, and developing mental issues later on in life
 
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