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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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sharpies :c - April 11th 2014, 09:37 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of substance use, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hey,

Okay, about a month ago, one of my friends started sniffing Sharpies in class. I, the sheltered kid who had been home-schooled her entire life, was curious about this, so I cautiously sniffed the markers a couple times. Nothing big, just one sniff at a time. Nothing close to enough to get me high off of them.
But...
A few weeks ago, I was having a really hard time at home, and just wanted to escape from my family. So I went into my room and sniffed the heck out of a Sharpie until I got a little woozy. I'm not sure if I was high or not, but it just kinda felt like my brain was on vacation, but I was still there... I've been told that I'll be good at staying in the right mind when drunk or high, because once I had surgery and they used sleeping gas on me. I felt really dizzy and thought some crazy things, but I kept my mouth shut because the fear of doing something stupid kind of kept me "awake" I guess you could say.
After that woozy-ness wore off, I had one heck of a headache, and promised I'd never do that again.
Guess I can't keep promises, because today in class I was just sick and tired of everything. All the drama and the hatred and the mean people and the weird guy who keeps asking me out so I just decided "screw it all" and sniffed that Sharpie until my vision went blurry. I got the same feeling, like my brain was on vacation, but I was still partially there, only this time it was worse. I did that in fifth period, and here I am two or three hours later and I still have the worst headache ever.

So my questions, and forgive me, I have a lot of them, are...

1. Is sniffing Sharpies bad for me?
2. Can it potentially harm me in any way or kill me?
3. I heard it kills brain cells...is that true? I mean, I Googled it and some stuff said it would kill brain cells, but some stuff said it was fine.
4. How do I stop doing this? And should I stop this? I mean, I kind of like the feeling, but the headache afterwards makes me never want to do it again. But...I just kinda feel like every time I do it, it's my way of getting back at some people, and rebelling against my sheltering, over-protective parents. Every whiff I take is my way of saying, "Haha, look what you and your over-sheltering did to me!"
It's also a great way to forget about what's happening in my life. I feel like I'm spiraling out of control, but every time my brain goes on vacation, it's like the headache makes me so miserable that I forget.

5. Is what I've already done with the Sharpies (sniffing and getting into a sort of "high" twice) enough to hurt me or kill me? I'm just such a worrywart, I'm sorry. but i don't want this stupid mistake to ruin my life. i feel like crying, but at the same time, the high is just wearing off and I want to do it again.
please help me. :c


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Re: sharpies :c - April 12th 2014, 06:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevermore~ View Post
1. Is sniffing Sharpies bad for me?
To put it simply: yes. Sharpies may be legal due to their use in crafts and writing, but they should not ever be inhaled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevermore~ View Post
2. Can it potentially harm me in any way or kill me?
It can. When it enters the bloodstream, it gets transferred into organ such as your heart, kidneys, etc. The chemical solvents they contain can be toxic if you continue to sniff sharpies to get high.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevermore~ View Post
3. I heard it kills brain cells...is that true? I mean, I Googled it and some stuff said it would kill brain cells, but some stuff said it was fine.
It can potentially kill brain cells because it deprives your brain of oxygen which is what causes the "brain on vacation" feel you get.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevermore~ View Post
4. How do I stop doing this? And should I stop this?
Best way to stop is to put the sharpies in a place that is inaccessible to you, or simply don't have any in the house if that is possible. Not having any means you can't use them for the wrong reasons. You could also keep them near your parents so if you go to get one, they may ask what you are doing. Out of sight, out of mind. Additionally, before you sniff another sharpie, think about how much it can damage your brain and then decide whether you think it is worth it or not. Try to find alternatives or ways to distract yourself when you get the urge, such as getting some exercise, reading a book, or calling up a friend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevermore~ View Post
Is what I've already done with the Sharpies (sniffing and getting into a sort of "high" twice) enough to hurt me or kill me?
To quote this website:
Quote:
Chronic inhalant abuse may result in serious and sometimes irreversible damage to the user's heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, and brain. Brain damage may result in personality changes, diminished cognitive functioning, memory impairment, and slurred speech.
So I would say no if you've only done it a few times, however you really should stop before it gets to a point where you do harm your body. It isn't worth it.


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Re: sharpies :c - April 18th 2014, 11:44 PM

Thanks for replying!
The only bad thing is that I can't keep them near my parents, because my parents are one of the main triggers for me using them. If I'm going to sniff the markers, it's most likely because I'm mad at them or they're mad at me, so I won't care if they ask what I'm doing. I'll probably even tell them, "I'm going to get high so I can pretend my life and my family aren't really mine, and that I'm just in some screwed up dream."
I also can't really see myself putting them where I can't get to them, as I use Sharpies pretty much daily for art things.

I got a really bad urge to sniff Sharpies last night, but what you said really helped: to think of the consequences. that, and I didn't have any Sharpies with me, because I was in the car.
I just wish there was something safe I could do to get that feeling, and get away from my own life for just a little bit. Sometimes I think it's worth the headache and the risks, just to escape. it's what i've always wanted. to still live but not really be there. it's better than sleep.
is there anything i can do to get that amazing feeling? i'm guessing no, but i can dream, can't i?


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Re: sharpies :c - April 19th 2014, 03:47 AM

Well when you're 21 you can drink alcohol, however I don't advise using any kind of substance as a way to escape from reality. I know it would seem great to have some kind of chemical that didn't harm your body at all and that let you escape, but once you sober up your problems and stress is still going to be there.
That's why it's best to handle your problems head on and find a way to make your life more enjoyable. That way you won't even need to feel like you have to escape from reality.
The next time you're mad at your parents, instead of sniffing sharpies go for a long walk. Or do some art without sharpies. Or even take a warm shower. There are lots of ways to forget about your problems for a little while in a healthier way.


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Re: Hard to stop...? - April 23rd 2014, 04:22 AM

Hey Jess,

You seem to be having a difficult time right now. Getting high may seem like an effective coping skill when things get hard to deal with, however making this a habit will only make things harder and can and will cause physical damage to your body.

I really encourage you to research the effects of inhalants on your body and how the toxins effect it. Yes, it can cause brain damage as well as effect many other parts of your body.

Quote:
What are the long-term effects of using inhalants?

People who use inhalants over a long time may have bloodshot eyes, sores on the nose and mouth, nose-bleeds, pale skin, excessive thirst and weight loss. They may also have trouble concentrating, remembering and thinking clearly. Other possible effects include tiredness, depression, irritability, hostility and paranoia. The long-term effects of inhalants vary depending on which inhalant is used. Heavy solvent use can result in numbess, weakness, tremors and a lack of co-ordination in the arms and legs.

Some long-term effects may go away when people stop using, but others are permanent. When inhaled, solvents are carried by the blood and stored in fat tissue in the body. Internal organs that have high blood circulation and that are rich in fat tissue, such as the brain, liver and kidney, are particularly affected. If inhalant use is stopped, damage to the liver and kidneys may heal, but damage to the brain is almost always permanent. Studies using scans of people’s brains after chronic long-term solvent use show that solvent use can cause the brain to atrophy, or shrink, which can severely affect thinking, memory and movement control. Long-term use of solvents such as toluene or naphthalene has also been shown to damage nerve fibres in the brain resulting in a neurological condition similar to multiple sclerosis.

Inhalant use can also result in permanent hearing loss and damage to bone marrow.
CAMH: Inhalants (Health Information)

I'm not trying to scare you with this information, I just believe that being educated is very important when making the decision to start and continue to use a substance.

I also think it's really important that you seek help for this now, before it becomes an addiction. Do you have a close friend or adult you trust that you can speak to about this? It seems there are a lot of situations and feelings you're trying to deal with at the moment. Talking about them with someone can get you extra help and support in coping with the pain in a healthier way. I really suggest you meet with a school guidance counselor if you can. They are a trained professional and know how to provide the right support you need.

TeenHelp has a thread called Alternatives to Self Harm. Some of these alternatives can transferrable to times when you may feel urges. And if no one is available to talk to during a time where you have an urge, you can always call a hotline and speak to somebody.

I know this seems like an easy way to cope with problems you may be facing right now, but it's a very risky and unhealthy habit to get into. Please consider reaching out to someone in your life for help because you deserve to be happy and healthy, okay?

Take care. :]


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Re: Hard to stop...? - April 25th 2014, 05:08 AM

Wow, that's scary. Okay, I'll stop.
And, just to be clear, if I only got high off the Sharpie two or three times, none of the effects should be as serious as brain damage, correct? I mean, I'm going to stop. So will I be okay?

Also, would an efficient way to stop be to wear a rubber band around my wrist, and every time I want to sniff, snap the rubber band? I heard that you can train your brain like that...would it work? I know a lot of people might associate that with trying to stop cutting, so I'd be nervous to do it in public...

I would love to talk to my school counselor, but I don't really know how. I don't know if I need to set up an appointment or what, but every time I go into my school's office, I end up getting embarrassed. It's a long story.
I don't really have someone to talk to...I can't really talk and explain what I feel and think on the inside, and nobody really understands anyway. And I don't just want to talk it out, I need HELP. like advice, a solution to the problem -- RIGHT AWAY.

If I told my mom or dad about this, they'd go crazy on me. I doubt they would listen, they'd just freak out. My mom is constantly telling me, "don't do drugs." "say no to drugs." "drugs kill you." drugs this, drugs that. which, really, just makes me want to do drugs and get high even more. but Sharpies aren't drugs, so at least I'm not that jacked up yet.
And any of my friends would just think I was lying or trying to get attention, because they aren't really friends. I do have one friend who actually sniffed Sharpies with me one time in our last class. He just thought I was joking around at first, so he took a couple whiffs. But then he told me to stop. I wish I could talk to him, but it's hard to talk to him alone, and he might not take me seriously. He's more like a big brother to me, but I still doubt he'd be any help, even though he's the best shot I have at talking to someone.

Thanks for the help...know any ways to stop for good?
Oh, and now whenever I even draw with the Sharpies and accidentally get a whiff of them, I get a huge headache. Could this just be the knowledge that they're bad for me, or do I just get headaches because I've sniffed them too much, or what? The headaches will go away, right?? wow, i'm scared.


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Re: Hard to stop...? - April 25th 2014, 10:09 PM

Hey Jess,

The effects I showed in my previous post were long term use effects. Those are the things you would start to see if you continued using for a while. In terms of short term effects of using the website states:

Quote:
Physical effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, sneezing and coughing, staggering, slow reflexes and sensitivity to light.
As the effects wear off, the person may feel drowsy and have a hangover with a mild-to-severe headache for up to several days.

CAMH: Inhalants (Health Information)

In regards to talking to a school counselor, I don't think you should feel embarrassed about asking to see them. You'd be surprised at how many people actually meet with them! You definitely wouldn't be the only one. And I know it can be a pretty terrifying and big first step to ask about setting up an appointment with a counselor, but it would be worth it.

I know you want help right away, but talking and explaining your situation is the first step to getting the help you want and need, you know? If you have trouble getting what you want out, you could always write a letter saying what you need to say, and give it to the school counselor to read. They would then be able to start off the conversation and it might take the pressure off of you a little bit.

Stopping for good may be challenging at first but like I suggested, look through the alternatives and use some of the distraction techniques when you feel an urge to use. Keep yourself busy or distracted, and if possible, remove the sharpies from wherever you are.

I really hope you choose to take the first step in going to see the counselor. It could really help to have a professional help you figure things out. Remember, this is your life and it's up to you to make the decisions. If you want help, don't hesitate to ask for it!

Take care, okay? :]


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