Substance Use

Strange Ways People Get High

close up woman taking cough syrup bottle with spoon

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What Are Some Strange Ways People Get High?

When most people think of substance abuse or drug addiction, they think of people who drink too heavily, inject heroin, or smoke meth. But the compulsion to get high can cause people to ingest, snort, or huff common, everyday items to numb their pain, alleviate their boredom, or prevent painful withdrawal symptoms from happening.

To the outside eye, it can seem strange that some people would think to use things like over-the-counter cough medicine or aerosol spray paint to get them high. Even something as seemingly innocuous as a dry-erase marker can induce euphoria.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Zinnia Healing can help. Call us at (855) 430-9439.

Unconventional Drugs of Abuse

In most cases, it’s teenagers who try to get high with strange items. Most of the time, teens don’t have the money for expensive street drugs, or they don’t have the connections to find more potent drugs like cocaine or pot. Instead, teens and young adults will often use everyday household items to get high. In some cases,  people who are hospitalized for alcohol-related issues will sometimes drink hand sanitizer to stave off their withdrawal symptoms.

The most commonly abused strange items to get high are as follows:

  • Cough syrup
  • Inhalants
  • Nutmeg
  • Bath salts
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Spice
  • Hand sanitizer

OTC cough syrup isn’t the strangest item on this list, but it is a common and unconventional way people get high. Cough syrup is easy to obtain, and drinking too much can make someone feel relaxed and fuzzy. Cough syrup has addictive potential, and mixing it with alcohol can increase a person’s chances of fatally overdosing since both cough syrup and alcohol slow a person’s respiratory rate.

What Kind of Help Is Available for People Who Abuse Strange Substances?

People who abuse strange substances need the same addiction and rehabilitation help as people addicted to a common street drug, prescription medication, or alcohol. In most addiction cases, the person abuses strange items to treat an underlying emotional or mental health issue. Since teens are the most likely to get high by using everyday household items, they must be given treatment for drug abuse. Drinking too much cough syrup to get “drunk” as a teen can lead to dangerous binge drinking episodes as an adult or even lead to alcohol dependency later in life.

It’s critical for a person who enters a rehab facility for getting high off strange substances to be given a mental health evaluation by a trained and qualified therapist. In many cases, people self-medicate common mental health disorders like depression or anxiety by getting high. Teens and their guardians may not realize that their desire to get high stems from an underlying disorder.

Are you or a loved one struggling with substance abuse? It’s never too late to reach out for help from a licensed care facility. Please contact the experienced counselors and addiction treatment specialists at Zinnia Healing to explore your substance abuse and mental health treatment options.