To zone in on the problem, let me introduce you to a 17 year old girl, currently hom
This is a real person posting on a homeless forum. She lives in Australia. I suspect other than the street name for paint sniffing (“chromers”), the problem is the same anywhere in the US. I’ve changed her screen name to protect her privacy even more.
“Sally” is discussing homelessness with other homeless people.
“On the streets drugs are all around you, always being offered to you, people always walkin around smashed. I’d like to see anyone live on the streets and not take drugs at some point, I really do think that’s impossible.
Hey, I don’t like drugs, but sometimes it’s really hard not to take them. Most people on the streets have some degree of depression, and sometimes your resilience gets low. Amongst the homeless youth population in Brisbane I think the main substance of choice is paint. Cheap, easy to nick, and a quick high.
When you’re feeling like s— and all your friends are sniffing and trying to get you to, offering you fills, and life is crap for you at that point, it’s very hard not to just give in and take it. Sure, it kills your brain cells, but who cares about that when you’ve got nothing much to live for anyway?
“You say you can’t stand it, but I don’t think you really understand what it’s like to be on the streets, what those kids who sniff have gone through, what they’re trying to escape from by getting high. These kids cope with life BY sniffing. That’s how they get through. And sometimes that’s how I get through too.
“I’m not going to get addicted to it, I won’t let myself, and I know there are other ways of coping, but when paint is pushed on you when you’re feeling down it’s very easy to just get high.
“Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but I hate how lots of people out there just think that kids who sniff are just a bunch of trouble makers running around mugging people and ruining their own lives, without stopping to think about the s— they’ve gone through to be sniffing in the first place, about whether if they were in those kids position they would be able to stop themselves sniffing. Not that I’m saying that you think that about sniffers.”
Are drugs a problem for homeless youth? You bet, and we need to get these kids off the streets. Sally is in a shelter now. In later posts she is going through detox, so her protestation abut not going to get addicted is in vain.
You will find a link to the homeless forums in the right hand column. Anyone can read, anyone can join. Free, and a real education.
For information you can give your kids about paint inhalants: Mayo Clinic.
This article is only one of more than 30 posts on homeless youth . In addition there are more than 60 homeless veteran articles. If you are interested in more, click one of these links. Thank you for coming by. Please consider adding me to your feed (see link below my picture.)