What Is Chroming? Parents Need To Know About The Latest Social Media Trend!
“Say no to drugs”. Everyone knows this mantra, right? Many will have seen the ads about what being high looks like and how drugs can lead to a lifetime of struggle and even death. But what happens when someone finds other ways to get high that aren’t illegal and can be done with items already in the house? This is where the dangerous chroming trend comes in.
What is chroming? It involves inhaling common household products to achieve a high, intoxicated by their fumes. Unfortunately, what many don’t realize is that chroming can also lead to death. Kids can be taught to say “no” to drugs, but for some, a common household product might not seem so dangerous, meaning it becomes a challenge to describe the real dangers.
- What Is Chroming?
- Dangers and Risks of Chroming, Especially For Kids and Teens
- What Is Chroming Addiction?
- What Are the Signs of a Chroming Overdose?
- Chroming Prevention: Educating Kids About Dangers
- Resources for Parents
What Is Chroming?
“Chroming” is essentially a newer term for inhaling “volatile substances” found in aerosol or spray cans to get high. “Sniffing”, “huffing” and “bagging” are just a few of the other terms used for what is essentially the same thing.
The term “chroming” originated in Australia and initially referred to sniffing chrome-based metallic paint, but it is now used more widely.
Why Is Chroming Trending? The TikTok Connection
There has been a worrying rise in chroming, which first popped up around 2017. One reason for the recent surge in chroming is the influence of social media, particularly TikTok. Users often share videos under hashtags like “WhipTok,” a reference to “whippits” or nitrous oxide containers intended for whipped cream charging bottles, but frequently used for inhalation.
The nature of TikTok, with its vast user base and ease of sharing content, has contributed to the trend’s resurgence. Videos showcasing the effects of chroming and its perceived “benefits” have found their way into the feeds of impressionable youngsters. This has led to a rise in cases of chroming among young people, who may not fully understand the risks involved.
Another factor is the accessibility of inhalants. These products are legal and readily available in most households, making them an easy target for those looking to get high. Inhalants are also relatively cheap and can provide a quick and intense high, making them attractive to those seeking a cheap, recreational, and easy escape.
What Does Chroming Do to You and Your Brain?
These toxic chemicals intended for cleaning your house or to be used on your car, slow down human brains and “act as depressants or relaxants” when inhaled into the body. Hallucinations, dizziness, and loss of body control usually occur along with a euphoric feeling or high.
There are reasons why you’re supposed to open windows or wear protective masks when using these chemicals. The chemicals escape into the air and if inhaled will be absorbed into the bloodstream and from there will make their way into the brain.
Butane or propane can result in immediate death since they cut off oxygen to the brain, but even if other products are used they have the potential to damage the brain in horrific ways—almost like you’ve altered it.
Dr. Jeremy Hayllar, the Clinical Director of Brisbane’s Biala Community Health Service explains: “Imagine something made of plastic; now let’s say you heat it up and it kind of loses its shape and form. We could make the same analogy with the effects of solvent on the brain,” he said. “It’s not heat that’s doing it, but it’s being dissolved by soluble substances that get into fatty tissue and disrupt them.”
Dangers and Risks of Chroming, Especially For Kids and Teens
Chroming can cause a whole range of terrifying effects; seizures, heart attacks, suffocation, coma, organ failure, and death.
Suffocation may seem odd, but solvents are often sniffed from a bag held around the nose and mouth and people can fall unconscious and suffocate due to lack of oxygen. This comatose state can result in choking on vomit, causing inhalant-related death.
Sudden sniffing death is either caused by inhalants forcing the heart to beat rapidly and erratically until the user goes into cardiac arrest or if the vapors enter the lungs and central nervous system.
Whilst death is clearly the biggest concern, you should be aware of the risks associated with long-term, regular use. Chroming, or “huffing” can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, brain, bones, and bones, occasionally leading to permanent health issues.
Long-Term Effects of Chroming on Physical and Mental Health
While chroming can cause immediate intoxication and euphoria, it can also have serious long-term effects on a person’s health. These can include:
- Brain damage: The chemicals you inhale during chroming can damage the brain’s white matter, leading to cognitive impairment, memory loss, and other neurological problems.
- Respiratory problems: Inhaling volatile chemicals can cause lung damage, chronic coughing, and other respiratory problems.
- Organ damage: Chronic chroming can lead to liver and kidney damage, as well as damage to the heart and other organs.
- Mental health problems: Chroming can cause or exacerbate mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
It’s important for parents and young people to understand the long-term risks associated with chroming and to seek help if they are struggling with addiction.
What Is Chroming Addiction?
As with many kinds of drug use, chroming can become addictive. Given the extent to which it impacts your brain and alters its chemistry, along with the high that follows, your brain will become dependent on that feeling, causing you to want to do it more and more.
Symptoms of chroming addiction can include (but are not limited to):
- The need to chrome (sniff or huff) to get through the day
- Feelings of dizziness or nausea if you don’t do it
- You’re agitated or depressed without chroming
- Shaking in the absence of doing it
- Upset stomach or nausea
What Are the Signs of a Chroming Overdose?
Any amount of inhaling chemicals can result in “acute intoxication,” overdosing, or death. If someone is displaying the following symptoms and you suspect they have been chroming, they are likely experiencing an overdose:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Blackout, seizures, and coma
Call emergency services immediately and take them to a hospital if this is the case.
Chroming Prevention: Educating Kids About Dangers
Preventing chroming and educating kids about the dangers is essential. Parents need to have open and non-judgmental conversations with their children about the risks of chroming.
Here are some tips for parents:
- Be open and non-judgmental: Create a safe space for conversation by approaching the topic of chroming with empathy, understanding, and genuine concern.
- Seek to educate: Inform your children about the dangers of chroming and the risks associated with inhaling toxic substances.
- Seek help if needed: If you suspect that your child is involved in chroming, seek assistance from a licensed therapist or substance abuse counselor who specializes in working with youth.
- Use parental control apps: Consider using parental control apps like Kids360 to monitor your child’s online and social media activities. These apps can help you stay informed about the content your child is exposed to, including dangerous trends like chroming.
- Encourage peer influence: Teach your children about the power of positive peer influence. Emphasize the importance of surrounding themselves with friends who make safe and responsible choices.
- Stay involved: Continue to engage with your children’s lives, interests, and friends. Encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities and hobbies that promote personal growth and development.
- Be a role model: Demonstrate responsible and healthy behaviors in your own life. Children often learn by example, so modeling positive choices can have a significant impact.
Always know where your child is and what is happening around them so that you can help them in time. Download the Findmykids app and keep your children safe even from a distance!
The Bottom Line
Chroming is a dangerous trend that poses serious risks to young individuals. Parents play a vital role in preventing chroming by engaging in open and non-judgmental conversations with their children. Educating kids about the dangers and setting clear boundaries is essential. Using parental control apps like Kids360 can also assist in monitoring online activities and ensuring a safe online environment. Together, we can protect our children and raise awareness about the risks of chroming. Let’s keep our kids safe and well-informed.
Share this article to spread awareness about the dangers of chroming and the importance of parental involvement in preventing this trend.
Resources for Parents
Are you worried about your child? There are many resources available:
- Substance abuse counseling: Many therapists and counselors specialize in working with young people who are struggling with addiction. They can provide support, guidance, and treatment options for those who want to overcome their addiction.
- Support groups: These groups provide a safe and supportive environment where young people can share their experiences, learn coping strategies, and receive encouragement from others who have been through similar struggles.
- Treatment programs: These programs may include individual and group therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and other evidence-based approaches.
- Hotlines and helplines: These include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline, the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) Helpline, and the Partnership to End Addiction Helpline.
- Parental control apps: As mentioned in the article, parental control apps like Kids360 can help parents monitor their child’s online and social media activities, which can help them identify potential signs of chroming or other risky behaviors.
By seeking help and support, young people and their families can overcome addiction to chroming and other inhalants and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
The picture on the front page: Jan H Andersen/Shutterstock.com
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