If you or someone you know suffers from inhalant abuse, there are treatment centers ready to help you right now. Inhalants can hurt your body and negatively impact your mind. Get the help you need to overcome this dangerous habit. Contact us now for help by calling our toll-free helpline at 954-271-5047. We’re available to help you 24/7 and all calls are confidential. Stop the inhalant abuse now and accept the treatment you need to start the recovery process.
How are Inhalants Abused?
The term "inhalants" refers to all household and commercial products that can be abused by inhaling them. These products are composed of solvents and substances commonly found in commercial adhesives, lighter fluids, cleaning solvents and paint products. Since inhalants are easily accessible and affordable, they have become the drug of choice for many young people. Inhalants are typically inhaled directly from a container or placed in a bag or another container of choice and "huffed," or inhaled, to achieve a "high."
Effects of Inhalant Abuse
The effects of inhalant abuse can resemble alcoholism. Upon inhalation, the body becomes starved of oxygen. This can often cause:
- Rapid heart beat
- Brain stimulation
- Distorted perception
- Sensory depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
Users of inhalants can become intoxicated several times over a few hours because of the chemical's short-acting, rapid-onset effect.
Inhalant Abuse & Withdrawal Effects
Heavy or sustained inhalant abuse can result in a tolerance on the substance which can cause physical withdrawal symptoms that can last for several hours to a few days after use. Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Rapid pulse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hand tremors
- Grand mal seizures
Warning Signs of Inhalant Abuse
- Paint or stains on the body or clothing
- Spots or sores around the mouth
- Red or runny eyes and nose
- Chemical odor on the breath
- A drunken or dazed appearance
- Loss of appetite
- Excitability and/or irritability
Medical Complications Associated with Inhalant Abuse
- Acoustic nerve and muscle: Destruction of cells that relay sound to the brain may cause deafness
- Blood: The oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood can be inhibited
- Bone marrow: Components containing benzene have been shown to cause leukemia
- Brain: Damage is also caused to the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum, resulting in personality changes, memory impairment, hallucinations, loss of coordination, and slurred speech
- Heart: Sudden sniffing death (SSD) syndrome,* an unexpected disturbance in the heart's rhythm, may cause fatal cardiac arrhythmias (heart failure)
- Kidneys: The kidney's ability to control the amount of acid in the blood may be impaired. Kidney stones may develop after use is terminated
- Liver: Gathering of fatty tissue may cause liver damage
- Lungs: Damaged lungs and impaired breathing occurs with repeated use
- Muscle: Chronic use can lead to muscle wasting and reduced muscle tone and strength
- Peripheral nervous system: Damage to the nerves may result in numbness, tingling, and paralysis
- Skin: A severe rash around the nose and mouth, referred to as "glue sniffer's rash", may result
- SSD syndrome may result when a user deeply inhales a chemical for the effect of intoxication. This causes a decrease in available oxygen in the body. If the user becomes startled or engages in sudden physical activity, an increased flow of adrenalin from the brain to the heart induces cardiac arrest and death occurs within minutes
Common Sources of Inhalant Abuse
- Adhesives: Model airplane glue, rubber cement, household glue
- Anesthetics: Nitrous oxide, ether, chloroform
- Cleaning: Dry cleaning fluid, spot remover, and degreaser
- Food: Vegetable cooking spray, "whippets" (nitrous oxide)
- Gases: Nitrous oxide, butane, propane, helium
- Solvents: Nail polish remover, paint thinner, typing correction fluid and thinner, toxic markers, pure toluene, cigar lighter fluid, gasoline
- Aerosols: Spray paint, hair spray, air freshener, deodorant, fabric protector
Treatment for Inhalant Abuse
Inhalant abuse treatment commonly involves admission to an addiction treatment center that specializes in this area of addiction. Since many of those who use inhalants are between the ages of 12 and 17 it is important to make sure the treatment center of choice has programs designed to treat adolescents.
The symptoms associated with withdrawal from these addictive substances are usually managed through inhalant treatment with the use of medications to avoid seizures or convulsions and to manage mood swings and feelings such as anxiety, agitation, irritability or depression. In many cases, a psychiatric evaluation may be ordered to rule out or allow a psychiatrist to treat a presenting disorder.
Find a treatment center designed for handling cases involving inhalant abuse today. Call us now at 954-271-5047. We have counselors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we can help you get the treatment you need in order to get healthy. All calls are confidential. Don't wait - start recovering today!