Many schools students in the city are hooked on to paint thinners, nail polish remover, glue, spray paints, and petrol among other things

While the city police are working for a ban on whiteners, correction fluid is not the only substance that youngsters huff to get a high.

Many schools students in the city are hooked on to paint thinners, nail polish remover, glue, spray paints, and petrol among other things. What draws children to misusing such substances is their easy availability. Whereas marijuana or other drugs may be difficult to get, whitener and glue are available at every stationery store and can be bought without raising suspicion.

“Solvent abuse is usually seen in children in the late adolescence stage and young adults. Peer pressure is a great influence pushing them towards solvent abuse. They usually hear about such things from school. A child who came to me recently was huffing mosquito repellent liquid. He said a friend had told him about the substance,” said psychiatrist Somanath C.P.

The solvents misused by children all contain certain active components that induce an intoxicating effect. The components can also cause severe respiratory ailments and even death.

The police are especially concerned about whiteners due to its widespread use and severe impact on the body. “We tested the content of whiteners and found that it was extremely harmful to the body. The substance is not only addictive, but also extremely dangerous,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police V.M. Muhammed Rafeeque.

Dr. Somanath said solvent abuse could cause inflammation in the respiratory tract, allergic reactions, and diseases such as bronchitis or pneumonitis besides mental and physical problems .

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