Household Items of Abuse Many people are surprised to find that they have at home a number of substances that are frequent objects of abuse for others who live in the house or visit the home frequently. Over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs of all kinds, and even everyday cleaners and toiletries – items that seem innocent and can be found in any grocery store – are all on the list of household items that could easily become substances of abuse.

Those who abuse these drugs are often young people who cannot access alcohol or street drugs and are hoping to experiment and get high. Others are active addicts who run out of their drug of choice and are looking for something to take the edge off. In some cases, users will develop a chronic drug abuse problem or addiction based solely on the use of household products. Unfortunately, though the items may seem mundane, abusing them in an effort to get high can be deadly.

man who abuses household items

OTC Medications

Robitussin, Benadryl, and other over-the-counter (OTC) medications are very commonly abused to get high, especially by teenagers. Many will drink an entire eight-ounce bottle of Robitussin – or two – in an effort to experience hallucinogenic or other effects that are a product of the active ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM). Use of the drug in such a large amount can cause nausea and vomiting, memory loss, impaired judgment, and mental function, hallucination, and/or coma.

Similarly, Benadryl is another popular OTC drug of abuse due to the effects of its main ingredient, diphenhydramine. Users may use the drug as a sleep aid or take as much as 30 times the recommended dose in an effort to get high. They often experience dizziness, delirium, hallucinations, confusion, and heavy sedation.

Why Are Household Substances Abused?

  • They’re cheap.
  • They are easily accessible.
  • They are easier to get away with because others may not monitor their supply in the same way they monitor alcohol.
  • It may feel safer than abuse of illicit or illegal substances.

Prescription Medications

There are a number of prescription medications that can be targeted for abuse. These include:

Unfortunately, all of the medications listed here are potentially addictive even when used as prescribed. Overuse can result in overdose and death, and chronic abuse can quickly lead to addiction as well as associated physical and mental health problems.

Other Household Items of Abuse

Listerine, certain astringents, and any cosmetic or cleaning product that contains alcohol can easily be turned into an object of abuse by someone who is unable to get alcohol anywhere else and wants it. Similarly, markers, spray paint, glues and a number of household cleaners can easily become inhalants that provide users with a deadly high.

Identifying the Need for Treatment

Not sure if someone in your home is abusing household products to get high? Some signs include:

  • An unwarranted, ever-diminishing supply
  • Finding rags, clothes or other fabrics that have a chemical-like smell
  • Signs of intoxication with no discernable cause
  • Stained fingertips, hands or skin around the mouth
  • Routine complaints of feeling ill or tired
  • Experiencing other social, financial or wellness issues with no other identifiable cause

No matter what the substance of choice, if your loved one is struggling with chronic drug abuse, we can help. Contact Michael’s House today 760-548-4032 to learn more.