The recent and tragic passing of 13-year-old Esra Haynes due to a cardiac arrest and brain failure in Australia exemplifies that Chroming, a recent social media trend is a menace for the youth. She was disconnected from life support by her family one week and a half after the failed chroming attempt with a deodorant can. Her passing leaves her family grieving and parents of teenagers concerned about such social media trends and the risks for their children.
Social media trends can often appeal to a younger audience and are now part of the many influences on a child’s development. Whether it is wearing certain clothes or participating in various challenges, some of these social media trends can quickly become dangerous. Recently, the trend of “chroming” has gained popularity among youth on TikTok under the hashtag “whippit.” These teens were craving a high without using hard drugs, and chroming became their solution.
Aerosol paint cans (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
How is Chroming the same as taking drugs?
According to the RCMP, Chroming consists of inhaling toxic elements present in cans of aerosol paint, whipped cream, or other everyday life products that come in such aerosol cans. “Laughing gas” (nitrous oxide) causes this immediate high and effects for those inhaling it. This practice leads to many short and long-term health problems, such as an induced unconscious state and inflicted damage to lungs or bones, and in some cases, death. The fact that the toxic contents used for this trend are easy to obtain makes this even more tempting for youth.
Ezra Haynes photo: GoFundMe
Laws and regulations
The RCMP has clear regulations regarding the purchase and use of inhalants:
“In Canada, inhalants are legal to purchase, mainly because the inhalants being used are actually in household products such as hairspray. However, purchasing or selling them for the purpose of getting high is illegal.”
What can you do to prevent the worst?
Whether you are a friend or parent of someone who consumes or potentially wants to consume any form of drug, be comprehensive and listen to them first when confronting them about it.
Then, explain to this person the risks and why they should avoid the consumption of drugs.
If the person does not want to listen or does not care, you can also refer them to the resources listed below:
Jeunesse, J'écoute/Kids Help Phone: 1 800-668-6868
Jeunesse sans drogues/Drug Free Kids Canada: 416-479-6972
Tels-Jeunes: 1 800-263-2266
Sources: RCMP, GoFundMe, Wikimedia Commons, TikTok