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Everything you need to know about chroming after teenage girl dies at sleepover

Claire Reid

Published 
| Last updated 

Everything you need to know about chroming after teenage girl dies at sleepover

Featured Image Credit: A Current Affair

Chroming is a dangerous trend that involves inhaling toxic chemicals, with potentially deadly results.

Although the practice isn’t new, it’s in the headlines currently after a 13-year-old girl died in Australia after chorming at a sleepover.

The heartbroken family of teen Esra Haynes have spoken out about the dangerous trend to help raise awareness.

Her dad Paul told the Herald Sun: "It's unquestionable that this will be our crusade. No matter how much you lead a horse to water, anyone can drag them away.

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"It's not something she would have done on her own."

Esra’s sister Imogen told 7News: “We definitely have a mission to raise awareness for kids and anyone that does it.

Esra's parents have been left heartbroken. Credit: A Current Affair
Esra's parents have been left heartbroken. Credit: A Current Affair

“We don’t want that to happen to anyone else. We don’t want another family to go through this, it’s absolutely horrible.”

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Her brother Seth, added: “I just want to put awareness out there that it can happen very quickly, and we don’t want to lose any more amazing people.”

What is chroming?

According to the National Retail Association, ‘chroming’ gets its name from the act of sniffing chrome-based paint - although it's now a broader term used to describe the deliberate inhalation of toxic chemicals such as solvents, aerosol cans, paint and glue and is also known as ‘huffing’ or ‘sniffing’.

Breathing in the chemicals affects the central nervous system, resulting in a short-term ‘high’ as the brain slows down.

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Side effects can include slurred speech, dizziness, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting and disorientation.

And while these are often quite short-lived, chroming can also have much more serious and scary effects such as causing heart attack, seizures, suffocation or landing someone in a coma.

Esra's loved ones were with her. Credit: A Current Affair
Esra's loved ones were with her. Credit: A Current Affair

Abusing substances in this way can cause ‘Sudden sniffing death syndrome’ after just one use, according to the National Institute of Health.

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A report from Drug Free World analysed data from 2002 to 2006 and found that an average of 593,000 teens aged 12 to 17 engaged in chroming for the first time in the year prior to participating in the survey.

And of those who died from ‘sudden sniffing death syndrome’, 22 percent were reported to be first-time users.

Chroming can also cause permanent damage to the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

A report from the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research found that long-term inhalation of such chemicals can lead to cognitive impairment, causing issues such as memory loss, lower IQ, lack of concentration and impaired judgement.

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Chroming is more prevalent with younger people, the American Addiction Centre says, because they often do not have access to other drugs or the means to buy them.

Topics: Australia, Health, Life, News

Claire Reid
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