What Household Items Are Used To Get High?

Household items used to get high

What Household Items Are Used To Get High?

Due to easy accessibility and low cost, many household items that can be used and abused to get high are becoming popular alternatives to more commonly abused drugs. These items are most often found in your kitchen, bathroom, office and garage. While these items may not technically be classified as drugs, they are just as dangerous, and getting high on household items causes serious health risks and sometimes even death.

Common Household Items Used to Get High

Everyday items found in your kitchen, bathroom, office and garage can be used by teens and even children to get high. It is important for parents to be aware of potential dangers right at home, so they can hopefully intervene before serious consequences occur. Having open and honest communication about the dangers of drug use is critical with adolescents, especially when concerning uncommon substances like the ones we are about to discuss. Because these items are not commonly glorified in media, their effects are often shrouded in mystery which may lead some to thinking they are safe. Here are some household items that children, as well as adults, use to get high:


Nutmeg is a commonly used spice and can be found in most average kitchens. It is often used hand in hand with cinnamon around the holidays for adding a special kick to pumpkin pie or other delicious recipes. What has been found recently is that nutmeg can offer a different kind of kick if used improperly. Users who ingest an approximate dose of 5 teaspoons may experience hallucinogenic effects due to the ingredient myristicin. The high can last up to several days with the most common negative side effects being nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid heart rate. Using nutmeg in this fashion is extremely dangerous, and most people who happen upon trying it recreationally end up hospitalized at the very least.

Cough Medicine

Over-the-counter cough medications commonly contain the ingredient dextromethorphan, often shortened to just DXM, which is the substance the abusers of the medicine are actually seeking. Cough medicine and DXM are some of the most frequently abused household medications, and even though most drug stores require proof of identification to purchase them, they are still easily accessible. When abused, this ingredient can cause euphoria and induce hallucinations, with highs lasting up to six hours. They are also commonly mixed with other substances such as alcohol and marijuana, which greatly increases the chances of negative, even fatal, side effects. Robitussin and Nyquil are the two most commonly abused over-the-counter cough medications. When DXM products are taken in high doses repeatedly, a mental condition called chemically-induced psychosis can occur and usually requires hospitalization. Negative side effects to be aware of are sweating, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, paranoia, decreased motor skills, elevated blood pressure and sedation.

Allergy Medication

Some allergy medications, which contain antihistamines, are often abused for the sedative effects experienced. The high is also intensified greatly when mixed with other central nervous system depressants such as Xanax, Valium or alcohol. The most common side effects are, heavy sedation, confusion, elevated heart rate, nausea, double vision, dry mouth and loss of appetite. With repeated abuse, some long-term side effects include seizures, glaucoma and cardiovascular disease.

Hand Sanitizer

Drinking hand sanitizer has become popular among people due the content of alcohol that can be found in it. One bottle of hand sanitizer is equivalent to 5 shots of hard liquor, and in desperate situations many users who are seeking a quick buzz will look to hand sanitizer to do the trick. The onset of intoxication is rapid and has very serious health risks including diarrhea, memory loss, blindness and damage to internal organs. Many case of alcohol poisoning have been reported due to the abuse of hand sanitizer, often leaving the user hospitalized.


Abuse of inhalants refers to any substance that cuts off supply of oxygen to the brain. Inhaling gas or vapor to get high is not necessarily a new phenomenon, but it has seen a great increase in popularity in recent years especially in populations of addicts in rehab or sober living, due to the fact that it is easily concealable and does not show up on drug tests. ‘Huffing’ these substances has even been known to cause Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome, which refers to instantaneous death following an episode of inhalant abuse. Unfortunately, there are many household items than can be used as inhalants. Here are some of the most commonly abused products: computer cleaners (“dust-off”), whip-its, mothballs, permanent markers, nail polish remover, rubber cement, hair spray, spray deodorant, spray paint, paint thinner, insecticide spray, gasoline, lighter fluid, canned whip cream, propane and helium. Negative side effects of inhalant abuse include headaches, muscle spasms, gastrointestinal pain, violent mood swings, nausea, hearing loss, decreased motor skills, numbness and permanent brain damage.

How to Help Someone Getting High on Household Items

Children and young adults often feel that these methods of getting high are less dangerous than abusing other illicit drugs. This claim is completely false. As with any other drug, getting high on household items is just as dangerous, and in some cases even more so. Prolonged use of these household items will cause serious health risks and long-term damage both physically and mentally.

If you or someone you know is getting high on household items, please seek professional help. A parent shouldn’t assume this is just an experimental phase. If your child is abusing household items in order to get high, this may be a sign of a serious underlying issue – that being addiction. While there is no cure for addiction, recovery is absolutely possible. With the appropriate treatment plan, emotional and physical recovery from addiction is possible. If you have any questions or concerns, or want more information about addiction please do not hesitate to contact us at (888)357-7577. We are here to help.

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