How to get high without drugs

How to get high without drugs

Did you know that there are at least 13 ways to get high without alcohol or drugs? Many products that produce a high can be found in your home and are often easily accessible to your children.

Legal Ways Teens Get High: What Parents Should Look For

Most parents know to be on the lookout for signs their child is using drugs. Many understand the dangers of using recreational drugs such as cannabis, alcohol, heroin, or prescription medications.

But few know the dangers their kids face when getting high without drugs or alcohol. There are many things right inside the home that can produce a dangerous high but are thought of as safe, everyday items.

Many parents are unaware of the risks these items pose.

Statistics show that more and more teens are using legal substances that are a part of our everyday lives to get high. You might have more than a dozen items in your home right now that, when misused, can produce a high similar to what you’d get with street drugs.

Some of the legal products kids can use to get high without drugs include:

  • Synthetic substances
  • Cleaning products
  • OTC medications
  • Prescription medications
  • At-home products containing alcohol

Even if teens don’t use high doses of these items, they can experience health problems and damage their bodies as severely as they would with any other type of drug abuse.

Household Highs

What are some perfectly legal household items that can be used to produce a high?

  1. Keyboard Cleaners/Aerosol Sprays — Using inhalants or huffing produces an immediate rush of euphoria, which leads to delusions or hallucinations.
  2. Gas — Inhaling the fumes is a way to get incredibly intoxicated.
  3. Paint Thinners — Similar to gas, fumes are inhaled to achieve intoxication.
  4. Nutmeg — When consumed in larger-than-normal amounts, nutmeg produces feelings of sedation, floating, delirium, and hallucinations. Side effects include vomiting and diarrhea.
  5. Frogs — Licking the Bugo Alvarius toad or “DMT Frog” produces feelings of intoxication similar to using the drug DMT. In addition to the high, the other chemicals in the toad’s secretions can interfere with cardiovascular function.
  6. Garden Seeds — Some garden seeds (morning glory flowers) can be soaked in water to create a psychoactive beverage and produce effects similar to what one would experience when using LSD.
  7. Mushrooms — Psychedelic mushrooms not only produce a high, they can also be dangerous to consume, especially when inexperienced teens are sampling wild mushrooms in hopes of finding one that will get them high.
  8. Whipped Cream — Canisters containing nitrous oxide are used by teens to produce a high through inhaling. In addition to the high, teens misusing canisters experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, shivering, fatigue, and sweating.
  9. Choking — Teens will play the Choking Game or alter their breathing techniques to the point of passing out to produce a high.
  10. I-Dosing — Some videos or audio recordings on the internet claim to contain certain beats that produce a “digital high.”
  11. Caffeine Supplements — Misusing caffeine pills by taking too many or combining them with other substances can result in a high that also puts teens at risk for other health problems including panic attacks.
  12. Diet Pills — Diet pills are mixed with other substances to enhance or intensify a high.
  13. Cough Syrup — Cough syrups containing dextromethorphan or DXM can be consumed to produce a high that includes sedation and hallucinations. In addition to the high, this can lead to cardiovascular issues.


Kids can get high without using drugs or alcohol. There are seemingly harmless items found in your home that can produce a dangerous high. These include cleaners/sprays, gas, paint thinners, nutmeg, frogs, garden seeds, mushrooms, whipped cream, cough syrup, and many more.

Alternate Uses of Alcohol

Another common way kids get high is by using/abusing alcohol.

You might be watching for symptoms of your child consuming alcohol before they can legally do so, and if you don’t see any signs, you assume the best. Unfortunately, underage drinking isn’t the only way for kids to get high from alcohol.

If you have alcohol in your home, consider whether your child is drinking from the bottle and refilling it with another liquid, so the amount of liquor in the bottle appears the same. Kids might also vaporize alcohol and smoke it. They won’t smell as if they’ve been drinking, but they’ll get intensely drunk quickly.

Additionally, kids don’t even need access to liquor to get high from alcohol. Items in your home that can produce a high or drunkenness include:

  • Hand sanitizers
  • Mouthwash
  • Flavored extracts used for baking or cooking

In addition to producing a high, these substances are dangerous to consume in large quantities due to their ingredients other than alcohol.

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Dangers of Getting High Without Drugs

Although the products used to produce these at-home highs might be safe when used appropriately, many are dangerous when used to get high without drugs.

Some of the risks associated with getting high without drugs include:

  • Cognitive damage
  • Poor academic performance
  • Developmental delays
  • Problems with mental health
  • Relationship damage

Although it might seem as if using household items to get high is not as dangerous as using drugs, even first time experiences can result in brain damage.


Alcohol is not the only thing that can cause drunkenness. Mouthwash, hand sanitizers, and food flavoring can also cause a high. Getting high, even without the use of drugs or alcohol, can lead to cognitive damage, poor school performance, developmental delays, and many more.

How to get high without drugs

This artificially induced high is what leads many people to use again and again until they eventually become addicted to this high and consequently, the drug. Only after weeks of inpatient and outpatient care can they finally regain control. Even though they are no longer using, many will still crave this high and struggle with how to feel high naturally. In some cases, if left unsatisfied, this intense craving may lead to relapse.

The Best Ways to Get High Naturally

Although drugs may be able to get you a powerful high, in the long run, the costs drastically outweigh the benefits. Instead, there are plenty of natural ways to get high that can be healthy for you. Especially in early recovery while your body is still adjusting, natural highs may help you fill a void and avoid relapse. As a rehab center in Philadelphia, PA, we are sharing some tips on how to get high naturally in recovery.


If you have never exercised regularly, you may find it unenjoyable or have never been able to reap the benefits — but do not dismiss it so quickly. Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins that reduce pain and create a pleasurable feeling likened to a natural high. 1 Give it a chance and start exercising more regularly. After getting over the initial hump, you may find the exercising provides you with the high you have been missing.


When many people think of natural highs, they may automatically associate this feeling with more active endeavors or adrenaline-pumping events, but this is not the only way to get high naturally. Meditation, which focuses more on slowing the body down, can be a natural means of getting high. Like active exercises, meditation releases endorphins and helps make people feel better. One study even found that trained meditators have elevated endorphin levels similar to elite runners, but an even higher “feel-good effect.” 2

Thrilling Activities

If you are looking for a more sudden rush of adrenaline or something to get your heart pumping, there are several activities out there for adrenaline junkies that may give you the powerful natural high you are looking for. Extreme sports, cage diving, ziplining, and bungee jumping are all popular activities.

Keep in mind that while thrilling, these activities also tend to come with a bigger risk of injury, so proceed with caution. Also, if you find yourself more scared than enjoying yourself, this may not be for you.


Not only is it a good form of exercise, but dancing is a fun and healthy way to get a natural high. Dancing can boost mood, release endorphins, and increase dopamine levels. The best part is there are so many different styles of dance that there is something for everyone. Whether you are content to dance around your room or want to try your hand at salsa lessons, dancing could be the answer.


Everyone is different so it may take some time to figure out how to get high naturally without drugs. Try something new and see what you like. Just be careful not to overdo it and replace one addiction with another.

Addiction recovery is a long journey. At Banyan Philadelphia, our PHP rehab helps people not only overcome their addiction problems but also prepare for a brighter future.

How to get high without drugs

There are countless reasons people decide to pick up a drink or drug. You might want to feel something or you might want to feel nothing. You might want to feel the rush of dopamine, the “high” that drugs provide, or you might want to level out the emotions you’re already experiencing. In most cases, you want to feel good and that’s the type of feeling a drug gives you, but there are obvious drawbacks and risks to taking drugs. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your dopamine levels and get that good feeling naturally. You don’t need drugs to feel happy or “high.”

What does dopamine do?

Dopamine is a common label that you might have heard in pop culture. It’s been associated with drug addiction, adrenaline, and the science of the brain. According to Psychology Today, dopamine is a neurotransmitter or a chemical in the brain responsible for transmitting signals between the nerve cells in the brain.

When dopamine neurons are activated, they release dopamine. One of the main roles for dopamine neurons is to drive reward-related behavior. They can become activated when something good happens unexpectedly. For example, when food is found and consumed, the dopamine levels in the brain increase. Additionally, many abused drugs cause the release of dopamine an effect that is thought to contribute to their addictiveness.

Drugs actually flood the circuit with dopamine. Overstimulating the system with drugs creates a euphoric effect which then reinforces the drug use behavior. Your brain then becomes wired to repeat these activities by associating the drug-using activities with pleasure or reward. The reward circuit is activated, the brain recognizes something important is happening and should be remembered, then it teaches us to do it again and again until it becomes second nature. Drugs stimulate the same circuit and this is why drugs are abused in the same way. Some drugs can release 2 to 10 times the number of natural rewards, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In some cases, this can occur immediately and the effects can last much longer than those produced by natural rewards.

How can you increase dopamine levels naturally?

Here are some ways you can achieve dopamine levels naturally without disrupting your pleasure center in a negative way.


It seems like we hear more and more about meditation every day – the quieting of the mind in our chaotic world. But how exactly does meditating increase dopamine levels? When you mediate your body becomes aware of itself, you relax and free the mind. This allows you to feel calm and pleasurable. Dopamine is released when pleasure is felt.


Exercise is one of the oldest “natural highs” in the book! They don’t call it a “runner’s high” for nothing. Exercise has an antidepressive effect, releases endorphins, and taps into your brain’s pleasure center. It’s also a stress reliever, but exercise can also become addictive.

Enjoy music

According to the New York Times, when you listen to music, dopamine is released in the striatum, an older part of the brain found in other vertebrates as well. Not only is dopamine released when the music comes to a climactic moment, but also several seconds before, a time known as the anticipation phase. If you’ve really felt good while listening to music, this is why.

Finishing a book

Reading a book that you just can’t put down is satisfying, but there is nothing more satisfying than completing the book. Dopamine is released when we complete simple tasks that we get to check off the list. There is a reason completing your to-do list feels strangely nice.

Creating a constant stream of new goals

You don’t want a dopamine hangover. You don’t want your natural highs to be super high and leave you back down low at the end. By constantly creating new goals before current ones are finished, you’ll be able to have a steady stream of achievement and dopamine that co-occur. This can include celebrating small wins, encouraging team members and employees with a bonus or email, and actively encouraging future motivation.

Sex, or more specifically, an orgasm has been linked to natural highs, brings pleasure, and feeling of deep intimacy with your partner. Sex is a stress reliever and can even increase drowsiness for a good night’s sleep afterward. But sex can also be used to replace an addiction. Its highs can be chased just like drugs. Life is about balance, and that includes sex.

The practice of yoga is a mental, spiritual, and physical combination. Breathing techniques will help you concentrate on aligning your spirit with your body. This can make you feel calm, less stressed, and encourage your pleasure center to crave more yoga. It’s not a coincidence that yoga and 12-step therapy both have a mind-body-spirit connection.

Cook and enjoy a meal

Just like exercise and sex, food can be overdone. But in healthy portions, cooking and enjoying a meal can bring you great pleasure. Not only is completing the steps of a recipe satisfying but enjoying the flavors and smells of a good meal can be intoxicating. Consuming delicious food increases dopamine naturally. That is also why some people become addicted to food. Be sure to keep a balanced diet and plan your meals ahead.

The best part about all of these revelations is: drugs never have been and never will be the answer. You can feel good naturally, using all the suggestions above.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. View our editorial policy or view our research.

Teen drug abuse doesn’t just involve illicit drugs like marijuana , cocaine and heroin. In fact, youth may use household items that get you high and experience dangerous effects just like they would from commonly abused illegal drugs. Some of the most common household items teens use to get high include whipped cream cans, dusters, glues and adhesives, nutmeg and cough syrup.

Table of Contents

Whipped Cream Cans

A whipped cream high may seem unusual, but teens can use this product to achieve a buzz. According to news reports , teens may inhale compressed gas from a canister of whipped cream because the process creates a short-lived high. They may also purchase “Whip-its,” traditionally used to charge whipped cream dispensers, and inhale the nitrous oxide in them to become high. This process can be deadly, as it can block the brain’s oxygen supply and harm the heart. It can also create neurological consequences and result in lasting brain damage.


Teens and inhalants are a cause for concern, with a national survey showing that 1.6% of 12th graders, 2.4% of 10th graders, and 4.6% of 8th graders have used inhalants in the past year. In addition, 8.7% of 8th graders, 6.5% of 10th graders and 4.4% of 12th graders have used these drugs during their lives.

Air dusters, typically used to clean computer keyboards, are an example of an inhalant that teens may abuse. Teens may huff these products through their mouths to feel a rush. However, computer dust cleaner high can create unpleasant side effects, such as violent outbursts, hallucinations, lack of self-control, nausea and even loss of consciousness. Huffing air dusters can also result in death due to suffocation, choking, trauma, oxygen deprivation or irregular heart rate.

Glues and Adhesives

Teenage inhalants may also include glues and adhesives that teens sniff to achieve a high. Experts report that teens may begin sniffing glue or adhesives and then progress to huffing or bagging to achieve a stronger high. With huffing, teens soak a cloth with glue and hold it over their mouths, and with bagging, they fill a bag with glue and repeatedly breathe in and out of the bag.

A toxic chemical called toluene is responsible for the high associated with sniffing glue. Toluene activates the brain’s dopamine system, which is associated with pleasure and reward. Toluene creates a high similar to alcohol intoxication and produces effects such as euphoria and excitement, eventually leading to psychological dependence with continued use. Large doses can also cause hallucinations, delusions and a feeling of disorientation. Over time, glue sniffing can damage major organs, such as the heart, brain and kidneys.


It is also possible for teens to achieve a nutmeg high at home. One case study involved a 13-year-old girl who put nutmeg inside gelatin capsules and was seen in an emergency room after she exhibited bizarre behavior and experienced hallucinations, nausea, gagging and blurred vision. Experts report that these effects associated with nutmeg are likely a result of the body-transforming chemicals in nutmeg into compounds similar to stimulant drugs like amphetamines .

Cough Syrup

Cough syrup abuse can be a concern among teens. According to Stanford Children’s Health , cough syrup often contains a chemical called dextromethorphan (DXM), which can cause hallucinations and altered perceptions in high doses. DXM can make teens feel as if they have left their own bodies and produce dangerous side effects like panic attacks, seizures, paranoia, and elevated blood pressure. Continued abuse of high amounts of DXM cough syrup can result in psychosis.

Teens may also abuse prescription cough medicines that contain codeine and promethazine by mixing them with soda. According to experts , teens drinking cough syrup in this form may have been inspired by musical artists who have glorified this process.

Teens can become addicted to cough syrups and other household products with continued use. The risks of addiction can be especially strong with items that can be obtained at home since it is so easy for teens to access them.

If your teen is demonstrating signs of teen drug abuse and you suspect he or she is using household items to obtain a high, teen drug rehab may be necessary. Signs such as changes in behavior, poor grades, lack of interest in previous activities, mood swings and withdrawing from friends and family may indicate that your teen is in need of treatment. If treatment is necessary, The Recovery Village has locations around the country to meet your family’s needs. Contact a representative today to obtain additional information.

  • Sources
  • Ross, Brian; Chuchmach, Megan. “ Dangerous teen craze Whip-its making a comeback? ABC News, March 27, 2012. Accessed August 19, 2019.
  • The University of Michigan. “National adolescent drug trends press release: Text & tables.” Accessed August 19, 2019.
  • Tulsidas, Haresh. “Glue sniffing: A review.” Proceedings of Singapore Healthcare, 2010. Accessed August 19, 2019.
  • Sangalli, Bernard; Chiang, William. “ Toxicology of nutmeg abuse .” Journal of Toxicology, February 2000. Accessed August 19, 2019.
  • Stanford Children’s Health. “ Cough medicine abuse by teens .” 2019. Accessed August 19, 2019.

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.