What are Inhalants?
Inhalants include a variety of solvents, aerosols, gases and nitrites whose fumes cause intoxication when sniffed or “huffed.” Although many substances can be inhaled, the term “inhalants” refers to substances whose only means of consumption is by inhaling.
Inhalants are addictive and dangerous and unfortunately, they are found almost everywhere. Do you have a whipped cream canister in your fridge? How about hairspray, cooking spray, or computer cleaners? All of these perfectly legal items can be deadly if misused. Inhalants are not part of the federal drug classification known as scheduling, therefore their sale is also not restricted to minors, and anyone can legally buy dangerous inhalants, no matter what age.
There are more than 1,400 products that pose dangers when inhaled and many of these are common household, easily accessible products, including air conditioning coolant, glue, aerosols and paint thinner. Flammable liquids such as gasoline, propane, and butane can also cause intoxication when huffed.
Inhalants addiction is real, is dangerous and can have fatal consequences. Seeking treatment for inhalants can ward of harmful long-term effects and save your life. Call to get help now
How Inhalants Affect the Body
Inhalants enter the bloodstream quickly, and the user can feel the effects within seconds. The high, and sense of euphoria, is short-lived, and many users continue huffing inhalants over the course of several hours to prolong the effects. This is a dangerous habit that increases the risk of overdose, addiction, and death which is why seeking treatment for inhalants abuse is imperative.
Short-term effects of inhalant use can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Radical mood swings/violent behavior
- Slurred speech
Long-term effects of inhalant abuse:
- Weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Inability to focus
- Impaired cognitive skills
- Mood changes – irritability, depression, anxiety
- Unconsciousness/possible death
In addition to the euphoria that occurs after inhaling, strong hallucinations can follow. The symptoms of intoxication include slurred speech, dizziness or lightheadedness, impaired coordination and unclear thinking. Vomiting and nausea are more common side effects. With prolonged abuse, more serious effects can often develop, including unconsciousness or even death.
Inhalants usually contain multiple toxic chemicals, and many of these chemicals can permanently damage the brain. Abusing an inhalant over long periods damages a fatty tissue called myelin, which protects the nerves of the central nervous system. Nerves transmit messages via chemicals from the brain to the other parts of the body. That is why people who suffer nerve damage may have trouble walking, talking and moving — the brain is relaying the instructions, but the nerve cells won’t transmit the messages.
There are other, even more serious, symptoms of inhalant addiction and abuse. Heart and liver failure are common side effects of inhalants, and inhalants can inhibit the production of blood cells. They also damage the brain so seriously that simple tasks such as remembering where the car keys went or having a conversation becomes almost impossible. And the earlier a person begins abusing inhalants, the more likely developing addiction later in life becomes — this means addressing inhalant abuse as soon as it becomes a problem is essential. Seek treatment for inhalants before the devastating long-term effects take hold. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Call to get help now
Inhalants Abuse Prevalent in Children and Teens
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federally funded entity that studies drug use in Americans, reports that inhalants are one of the few drugs used more frequently by younger adolescents than by older teens and adults. How young are inhalant abusers? NIDA notes that inhalant abuse is more common among middle school-age children than any other age range. That means a child as young as 12 could be sniffing a common household chemical. Perhaps most alarmingly, children at this age are not aware that using an inhalant even one time can be fatal. Over 40 percent also felt that regular inhalant abuse isn’t harmful.
According to the Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE), a nonprofit dedicated to the education and prevention of inhalant abuse, more than 2.6 million young people between 12-17 have admitted they have used inhalants for the purpose of getting high.
More statistics about adolescent use of inhalants include:
- 1 in 4 adolescents have intentionally used a common household product to get high before eighth grade.
- More than 6 percent of all 8th graders used an inhalant in 2012
- 17,000 people use inhalants every day.
- Inhalants tend to be the first tried by children and can be considered a “gateway” drug, leading to future drug use.
Signs and Symptoms of Inhalant Abuse
It’s often difficult to know with certainty whether or not a person is abusing an inhalant. With careful attention, however, it is possible to uncover distinct signs and symptoms.
If you notice any of the following, someone you care about may be suffering from inhalants addiction:
- Breath or clothing that smells like chemicals
- A dried chemical substance on the nostrils or upper lip
- Difficulty communicating, remembering or thinking clearly
- Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
- Reduced cognitive abilities relating to attention and learning
- Irritability and depression
- Empty containers, or plastic or paper bags, in the bedroom trash
- An increase in time spent alone
- A staggering gait, slurring words or other physical signs of intoxication
- Denying, hiding or lying about inhalants abuse
- Ignored responsibilities, such as grades, chores, and relationships
If you or anyone you know are experiencing these symptoms, it is time to seek professional treatment for inhalants.
What to Expect During Treatment for Inhalants Abuse
Our addiction expert staff and medical professionals agree that long-term, individualized care provided in a comfortable setting offers people with addiction problems the best opportunity to achieve and sustain life-lasting sobriety. At 12 Keys Rehab, we help people fight substance abuse and addiction every day. Our rehabilitation center provides comprehensive holistic care in a warm, supportive environment. We only enroll a limited number of clients at one time, assuring our ability to provide individualized treatment.
Our program combines a safe and thorough medically assisted detox, behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, addiction counseling and 12-step care in a responsive recovery plan designed to match the needs of each individual client. We can even help you if rehab has been tried before, so don’t give up hope. If you want help, 12 Keys Rehab is here. Call to get help now
Addiction Treatment for Inhalants in Florida
Independent research studies prove early substance abuse often leads to more severe addiction problems later in life. You also don’t have to wait to hit rock bottom before getting help. In fact, the earlier a person with inhalants addiction gets help, the better the treatment outcomes are. If you believe your loved one is using inhalants — even if he or she is not an adolescent — getting professional help is crucial.
At 12 Keys Rehab, our qualified, experienced and compassionate staff members know that beating inhalants addiction is possible. Seeking treatment for inhalants begins by calling our admissions team, who will answer any questions you have about treatment options and will walk you through your health insurance benefits. Call today.