The dangers of sniffing glue

Glue is a dangerous drug that can have both physical and mental effects. When someone sniffs glue, they inhale chemical vapours that can change their state of mind. When the chemicals from the glue enter the body, they slow down the way the body works. And it can take up to 2 weeks for those chemicals to leave the body.

After someone inhales the glue, their body can’t get enough oxygen. Their heart is forced to beat faster, and this makes more blood flow to their brain. This can be very dangerous, as it can lead to difficulty breathing or even a coma.

Sniffing glue can also have other effects like:

  • Dizziness
  • Losing coordination
  • Not being able to speak normally
  • Hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Drunk or dazed behaviour
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nausea or loss of appetite

Many people have even lost their lives while high on glue because of these effects.

If you or anyone close to you is sniffing glue, talk to a trusted adult, doctor or nurse at your nearest clinic. If you don’t have a trusted adult to tell, you can call the Substance Abuse Helpline on 0800 121314 for help. You can also call the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA) on 086 14 72622, or search for one of their branches here. For more information on substance use and abuse, check out our article “How can I stop using substances?”


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