33 year old Texan Danielle has a weird addiction – she is hooked on vapor rub. Vapor rub is designed to unblock sinuses but to Danielle and other vapor rub addicts its much more than a cold cure – it is a dangerous obsession. She inhales it, eats it and even puts it in her morning tea.
Danielle, from San Antonio, Texas, can’t go longer than 30 minutes without abusing the vapor rub and she spends over 300 dollars a month on the product.
Danielle’s addiction started when she was a child.
‘I remember I put it on my chest because I was sick,’ she recalls. ‘And it just smelled so good to me I wanted to taste it.’
Danielle uses vapor rub patches, inhalers and candles, but her favorite way to get her fix is by putting the gel on the back of her tongue.
‘It’s hot and then it turns cold and it keeps going back and forth,’ she says.’I like to feel it melt in the back of my throat’
“I like to put it on my eyelids. It’s like when somebody squirts lemon on your eye, but it’s a good burn.”
Danielle’s mornings start with a vapor rub cup of tea – she coats a tea bag with a scoop of the rub and because that just isn’t enough adds another teaspoon to the cup.
Lauren is another vapour rub addict
I started out about 6 years ago with the craving of Vicks Vapor rub. I would buy it and a jar would last me about 1 year. What I would do is put some on my nose and then on my lips for the vapor reaction. That wasn’t good enough, so then I would put some on my fingers and then nibble it off my fingers. That turned into licking some off my finger and then larger amounts off my finger. I would do this whenever I wanted to have a vapor rush. Then it would be when I finished dinner, or when I felt stressed. I would slather some on my lips and lick it off. Somehow it felt as if I helped me digest my food. Kinda like a cigarette does for some people.
Vicks Vapo Rub has been around for almost 100 years, The Freaky has not found any scientific evidence that it is addictive, certainly not if used as directed, but some people believe that the one of its ingredients camphor oil might be responsible for the addictive effect on some people.
Vapor Rub also has for many years been used in the rave underground as the rub and menthol inhalers are used by ravers to enhance the effects of Ecstasy.
Abusing Vapor Rub does have nasty side effects – if consumed chemicals within the rub can damage the nervous system, and cause seizures
Danielle, who appeared on TLC’s Strange Addiction has now, after being told of the damage she is doing to her body, apparently reduced her bizarre addiction to one jar per week.