Substance abuse and addiction can take many forms. While well-known street drugs like cocaine and heroin are always a concern, other substances aren’t always as obvious but are certainly as dangerous. Prescription drugs may come to mind, as well as over the counter medications such as cough medicine. Another class of substances to be aware of is inhalants.
One of the scary things about inhalants is that they are easy to access and particularly attractive to young teens, who are probably the biggest group of users. In fact, inhalants are the one class of drug that sees a larger user base from young teens than older teens. Although adults use inhalants, it is adolescents who make up the larger group of users.
Inhalants are deadly. Although not necessarily physically addictive, any mind-altering substance has the potential for abuse and addiction. If you suspect your loved one is abusing inhalants, you if you yourself have a problem, an inhalant addiction rehab can help.
What Are Inhalants?
Inhalants are defined as substances that people inhale through the nose and/or mouth to produce a “high.” Most inhalants are substances that are not drugs or intended for any type of human consumption, however when they are inhaled they produce mind-altering effects.
Some examples of chemicals that are frequently inhaled, or “huffed” include:
- Paint thinner
- Computer duster spray
- Spray paint
- Cleaning products
- Many types of aerosols
Although there are regulations around the sales of spray paint and other substances, many inhalants can be purchased by minors.
Most commonly, though, teens are able to access inhalants easily by going into the cupboard under the sink or the garage. Aerosols, solvents, glues and markers are common “starter” inhalants that kids can easily obtain.
The Dangers Of Inhalants
The use of inhalants is alarming because they can be damaging and deadly. Death can occur after a single use of inhalants. This is due to heart failure and known as “sudden sniffing death.” Death can also occur by suffocation.
Loss of consciousness is another risk factor. This can happen suddenly and without warning, putting the user at risk for falls and accidents.
The user may experience a lack of coordination, slurred speech, vision problems and confusion. Over time, inhalants can cause brain and nerve damage. The damage done can affect the user’s ability to concentrate, problem solve or perform daily tasks. Permanent damage can occur.
Other risks to health include organ damage. These are highly toxic chemicals and intentional inhaling, especially if done frequently or for a prolonged period can cause irreversible damage to lungs, kidneys, liver, and heart.
Signs And Symptoms Of Inhalant Addiction
It isn’t always easy to determine if your loved one is using inhalants. Unless you catch them in the act or notice when they are under the influence, there aren’t always lingering signs. Some symptoms of being under the influence of inhalants include slurred speech, lack of coordination, confusion, the appearance of being drunk or high.
Frequent use, or after effects of inhalants can include depression, irritability, lack of focus or concentration, unusual sleepiness or being “out of it.”
Some other signs to look for include noticing a chemical smell on clothes or breath, clothing stained with paints, chemicals or other strong-smelling substances. Empty cans of spray paint or other chemicals, missing cleaning products or chemicals. Keep an eye out for missing cans of duster spray, shoe polish, solvents, etc.
Preventing Inhalant Addiction
It is important to educate your child about the dangers of inhalants. Kids in grade school can be introduced to “huffing” by peers so it isn’t too early to talk to them about it. Be mindful of
products in your home that could be used for huffing. Consider leaving things like paint thinner and other chemicals in a locked cabinet.
Getting Help From An Inhalant Addiction Rehab
Users can quickly become addicted to the high that inhalants produce. Every use brings the risk of serious health problems and even death. Repeated use can cause irreparable cognitive damage. It is important that someone who is abusing inhalants gets help.
An inhalant addiction rehab can help. Treatment for inhalant addiction is no different than treatment for any other addiction. However, if your teen is addicted, you will want to find a treatment center that specializes in adolescent drug treatment. There are many treatment centers across the country that help teens to overcome addiction.
An inhalant addiction rehab can help you heal and recover from addiction, help you learn new skills and strategies for coping with life’s challenges, address issues with self-esteem and self-worth and teach tools for dealing with triggers, temptations, and peer pressure.
How To Find An Inhalant Addiction Rehab
If you are looking for a rehab for yourself or a loved one, Need Rehab can help. They work with the very best treatment centers and can connect you with the treatment center that is right for you. Whether you need a treatment center that caters to adolescents, older adults, men, women or people who are struggling with mental illness and addiction, Need Rehab can answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Call Need Rehab today at 877-798-2907 to learn more.