"The tissue and mucus membrane in the nose and throat of younger teens are very sensitive because they're growing," so when they inhale the substances not only are they more subject to the effects, but they may be more susceptible to long-term problems such as brain and organ damage, she said.
"Brain and memory are the most affected," Caudle said. "You have young people developing dementia, having hallucinations, walking into things -- not to mention feelings of agitation and anxiety and poor judgment."
Inhalants also produce withdrawal symptoms for users who try to quit, because the chemical high produced by sniffing is both physically and psychologically addictive.
Riley's near fatal overdose was a wakeup call that forced him to get help. It took Riley months of rehab, but he is now sober and knows his brush with death is what saved his life.
"Inhalant users that inhale daily, they don't last [a] year," he said. "[They] die before that."
"I'm not sure many parents actually know about sniffing," Caudle said. "It's been around for years, but there's not been enough awareness. People don't get how big of an issue this is."
So what are the signs that a teen is using inhalants?
According to Bergen-Cico, the two key markers are physical evidence of use and behavioral changes.
Physical evidence would include finding empty aerosol containers, items containing noxious fumes missing from the household, rags, plastic bags, or strange stains or odors on teen's clothing.
Behavioral signs of use, she said, often mimic alcohol intoxication with slurred speech, glassy eyes, poor muscle coordination, nausea, stumbling and/or dizziness. Mood changes are also common, and parents may notice that their children "aren't themselves," Caudle said.
Beyond awareness, it's important to address the root of these problems as well, Bergen-Cico said.
"When we see people younger and younger using things to get high on, the key issue is not just how to stop them but why are they looking to get high?" she said. "What are they trying to escape?"
Parents need to talk to their children about inhalant use when they talk about other drugs. If you suspect your children is using inhalants, seek professional support from your child's doctor.