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Solvent Abuse Growing in Saudi Arabia
Huffing, or inhaling solvents such as glues, paint thinner, nail polish remover, and other household products, is gaining popularity among students in Saudi Arabia, and many of these teens graduate from solvent abuse to harder drugs such as opium and heroin.
The effects of huffing can range from intoxication to intense hallucinations. The risks are great, and can include brain damage and even death. According to a recent study, about 30 percent of people at drug treatment centers in Saudi Arabia are there because of huffing or solvent abuse.
Ahmad, a teen from Jeddah, said he started huffing and then started trying hard drugs. He says he saw a classmate sniffing glue, so he tried it and then became hooked.
Ali, a secondary student, also said huffing led him to becoming addicted to hashish, among other drugs. He said smelling gasoline at a gas station with his father made him feel high, and he started going to gas stations to sniff gas. He is now undergoing drug rehabilitation.
Abdullah Baqadeem, a shopkeeper, said teens often buy glue, air fresheners, and other inhalants from him. He noted that if he suspects that the teens are going to use the items for huffing, he won’t hand them over.
Dr. Fatima Al-Haider, a consultant psychiatrist and associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, said that smoking cigarettes can lead teens to drug addiction, adding that sniffing glue and gasoline is a big problem among students.
Source: ArabNews.com, Muhammad Al-Sulami, Glue Addiction on the Rise, May 4, 2010