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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Watch for Inhaler Abuse

Ashtma inhalers (such as Albuterol) are now part of the teenage drug culture, accodring to University of Michigan researchers. Teens who abuse the inhalers, often borrowed, do it because the medicine can cause a feeling of excitement.
Abusing inhalers can have immediate side effects, such as increased heart rate and tremors, but most concerning are the long-term implications. Teens who use an asthma inhaler for a quick boost are 10 times more likely to use illicit drugs and nearly 8 times more likely to use alcohol than their peers, according to researchers.
If your child has asthma and needs an inhaler refilled more than every few months, see your pediatrician. If it's necessary medically, then her asthma is not under control and she needs better maintenance drugs. If her asthma is controlled, she or her friends may be abusing the inhaler.