Addiction And Abuse
Inhalants are easy to become addicted to because they are commonly found already in the home. Like alcohol and other drugs, inhalants are addictive, dangerous, and deadly. They can bring on withdrawal symptoms and create a tolerance in the body.
Inhalants are used for a short term but euphoric high similar to alcohol. When you inhale these harmful toxins, it creates a mind alerting effect in the brain that lasts for a short period of time, making you want to use over and over to create that high again. Repeated inhalant use can quickly create a psychological and physical dependence, causing addiction.
Inhalant abuse can lead to some very harmful symptoms and can lead to asphyxiation and sudden death. Inhalants can cause your heart to stop beating instantly, even when it is your first time inhaling these chemicals. You can suffocate, go into cardiac arrest, go into a coma, and these may all lead to permanent injury or death.
Inhalants: An Overview
Inhalants are only called inhalants when they are being abused as a drug to get high. Typically, inhalants are found in the home, which can put young children and teens at high risk of death. Something like gasoline could be considered an inhalant when used to get high.
When using inhalants as a drug, your body gets a rush of euphoria followed by possible dizziness, slurred speech, hallucinations, and more.
Repeated use of inhalants causes:
- Becoming unconscious
- Brain cells to die off
- Breathing problems
The scariest thing about inhalants is that they are almost always abused by young children due to the fact that inhalants are commonly already in the home and are easily accessible. Oftentimes parents or other individuals may not be aware of just how dangerous these chemicals are, especially on our youth.
Substances Considered Inhalants
- Household cleaners (even essential oil cleaners can be toxic)
- Spray deodorants
- Paint thinner
- Shoe polish
- Nail polish
- Nail polish remover
- Lighter fluid
- Spray paint
- Hair spray
- Vegetable oil sprays
- Butane lighters
- Laughing gas
These items should be put up and away from children, pets, or anyone who may have an addiction to inhalants. Its also important to talk to your children about what chemicals in the house are dangerous and be honest with them about the risks.
Classes Of Inhalants
Inhalants are broken down in several categories because there are so many of them, and they differ in chemicals and reactions. Almost all inhalants create a rush of euphoria because inhalants are nervous system depressants like alcohol.
Classes of Inhalants
- Solvents: These would be considered paint thinners, gasoline, lighter fluid, art supplies etc. these chemicals are inhaled for psychologically effects
- Aerosols: Sprays like hair spray, cooking spray, and more can create dangerously slowed breathing and potentially stop the heart
- Nitrates: Chemicals found in certain home sprays or leather cleaner is considered a very dangerous form of inhalants
- Gasses: Gasoline or lighter fluid is very commonly found in the home which can put individuals at risk for serious injury or death
Inhalants are administered by inhaling the fumes or huffing chemicals through sprays like spray deodorant. All forms of administration can be deadly, and all inhalants can cause sudden death. Talk to your children about the risks and if you know someone who has been using these chemicals tog et high you should contact treatment immediately.
Inhalant Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- More than 21 million Americans have admitted to using inhalants at least once in their lifetime
- Children and teens are the heaviest users of inhalants because they are commonly found and easily accessible
- In 2011 more than 10,000 individuals were hospitalized for ingesting inhalants
- Over 60% of individuals using inhalants are teens, usually starting at 17 years old but can be as young as 5 or 6
- In 2011 more then 140,000 individuals had an inhalant dependency
- Inhalants create a dangerous level of tolerance and addiction when repeatedly used
Treating An Inhalant Addiction
Treating inhalant addiction can be a very uncomfortable process, but it can allow you another chance at a healthy life. Entering treatment for addiction is the best way to combat your inhalant dependency, and during this process of treatment, you will be involved with one-on-one counseling sessions, group therapy, and workshops to provide you with the tools you need to prevent relapse.
Inhalant abuse can be very deadly and should be avoided at all costs. If you or someone you know is struggling with an inhalant addiction its time to seek treatment today before it is too late. Call a treatment provider today fir more information on getting started.