Inhalants are substances that are deliberately taken in through inhalation to produce a pleasurable effect or to alter one’s mental state. Because of their psychoactive effects, these substances are also known as “intoxicants” or “depressants.” Products used as inhalants can include a wide variety of substances, including aerosol sprays, gasoline, glue, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and paint thinner. Inhalants are very dangerous because they absorb into the brain very quickly. Those who use inhalants tend to continually breathe in the inhalant, which only causes more damage to their bodies. If you or a loved one are concerned about inhalant abuse, reach out to find an inhalant addiction treatment program near you. Rely on a trusted medical professional to guide you in finding the right treatment or contact a treatment center like NuLife Behavioral Health at 888.568.2057.
Common Products Used as Inhalants
Inhalants encompass many common household substances that produce dangerous vapors. Inhaling these vapors creates an intoxicating high and can be very damaging to the lungs and cause other serious damage. The frightening reality is that over 1000 common household and commercial products can easily be abused as inhalants. Typical inhalants include the following:
- Aerosol products like hair spray, spray paint, cooking spray, and room deodorizer sprays
- Solvents like glue, markers, gasoline, paint thinner, paint remover, nail polish remover, and lighter fluid
- Gasses, aka whippets, found in whipped cream canisters, lighters, and propane canisters
- Nitrites found in products like room deodorizers, leather cleaners, and video head cleaners
These inhalants are all extremely dangerous and should not be used under any circumstances. Inhalant abuse can lead to serious physical and psychological problems, like brain damage, hearing loss, and heart failure.
Types of Inhalant Abuse
When inhalants are being abused, they are inhaled through the nose or mouth in different ways. This can include:
- Inhaling by breathing in vapors through the nose or mouth
- Spraying inhalants into the nose or mouth
- Bagging by inhaling the substance from a balloon or bag
- Huffing by inhaling from a rag soaked in the substance
- Sniffing or snorting into the nose
Signs indicating that someone is abusing inhalants in one of these ways can include a chemical odor on their breath or clothing, paint stains on their hands and face, dizziness, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and disorientation.
Dangers of Products Used as Inhalants
The prolonged and frequent use of inhalants can cause damage to the central nervous system as well as the organs and body. Inhalants limit your oxygen intake and can eventually cause suffocation or even death. These harmful chemicals are not meant to be consumed by humans. In essence, you are poisoning your body by inhaling these substances. Long-term use can lead to seizures and heart attacks.
Additional side effects of inhalant use include:
- Feelings of drunkenness
- Loss of coordination
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Impaired functioning
- Slurred speech
- Muscle weakness
- Hearing loss
Contact NuLife Behavioral Health for Treatment Options
The biggest issue with inhalant abuse is that anyone has access to these everyday items that can cause such harm. Inhalant abuse is prominent among young adults because they are not a controlled substance, and they can easily purchase them on their own. Unfortunately, inhalants can be a dangerous gateway to drug and alcohol use. Inhalants affect the amount of oxygen intake and can cause suffocation if used in large amounts.
Recreational inhalant use puts you at serious risk for addiction and can cause health problems that stay with you for life. NuLife Behavioral Health offers an addiction treatment program specifically designed to treat inhalant abuse. Give us a call today at 888.568.2057 or reach out online to learn more about the outpatient treatment options available to you or a loved one.