Chroming is a potentially fatal drugs trend that has seen an increase in scrutiny after the death of a 13 year old girl in Australia.
The trend, which involves inhaling toxic chemicals which are often available to buy in high street stores, carries major risks for those who take part, and can lead to a prison sentence for suppliers.
A mum recently went public to warn other parents of the dangers of inhalant abuse, after her daughter was found dead in her bedroom clutching a bottle of deodorant.
Chroming is a slang term which covers a range of ways of getting high using otherwise legal substances - this is everything you need to know about the recent trend, its risks, and the penalties.
What is chroming?
Chroming is a method of getting high by inhaling toxic substances - it is a catch all term that refers to huffing, bagging, sniffing, snorting, or spraying the substances.
Chemicals that are often used for chroming are legal to purchase - though not with the intention of using them to get high. They include aerosols, paint, nail polish remover, lighter fluid, petrol, and glue.
Inhaling these substances creates a brief high - it slows down brain activity and causes sensations similar to feeling drunk: dizziness, confusion, and can be followed by the feeling of a hangover.
Chroming has become a recent drug trend, with teenagers in particular, but has come under the spotlight recently because of its clear dangers and the recent death of a young girl.
Can chroming lead to death?
Chroming is very dangerous - the chemicals involved are not designed to be inhaled and are toxic to humans. Additionally, it is very hard to control the dosage and there is a risk of overdose.
Risks are higher when chroming occurs in an enclosed space, and as many of the chemicals used are flammable there can also be a risk of burns.
Drug risk advisory website Frank states that chroming can affect the rhythm of your heart and cause a heart attack - additionally if gas products are squirted down the throat it can swell affecting breathing and causing a heart attack. Another risk is that if a user passes out and is sick, they can choke on their own vomit.
Lower but still considerable risks include mood swings and aggressive behaviour, hallucinations, vomiting and blackouts.
A 13 year old girl in Australia died in March after taking part in the growing chroming trend at a sleepover. Esra Haynes, from Melbourne, suffered a cardiac arrest and irreparable brain damage after inhaling an aerosol deodorant. In May last year, it was reported that a 16 year old girl from New South Wales, Australia had died from the effects of chroming.
There are reportedly more than 50 deaths in the UK each year involving the inhalation of toxic substances.
Children are of particular risk from chroming because the chemicals involved are easily accessible - some can be bought at shops without age restrictions.
Is chroming legal?
Aerosols aren't illegal in themselves but it is illegal in England and Wales to sell aerosols and other inhalants to people if they believe they will use them to get high. In Scotland it is also illegal to sell any substance to someone they believe intends to use the product to get high.
Possession of psychoactive substances which are not class (A, B, or C) such as laughing gas does not carry a criminal penalty, unless the person in question is in prison at the time. The penalty for supply or production of these substances carries a maximum punishment of up to seven years in prison and an unlimited fine.
For confidential advice and information about drugs and their effects, call Frank on 0300 123 6600 or visit talktofrank.com