According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), over 18 million people abused Inhalants Drugs between 2000 and 2001. The number continues to rise and inhalants continue to destroy lives.
Any substance that can be inhaled to experience mind-altering effects is classified as an inhalant. These drugs create rapid, intense effects because, via lung and bloodstream absorption, the chemicals reach the brain very quickly. Intoxication occurs within seven to ten seconds and lasts for a few minutes; up to an hour at most.
Since most forms of inhalants are inexpensive and can be purchased at local stores, people of all ages have access to these dangerous substances. Hair spray, whipped cream, and computer keyboard cleaner can all be abused as an inhalant.
History Of Inhalant Use
The substance, ether, was discovered in 1275 by a chemist in Spain. Ether was then used to create a liquid, called anodyne, that was beneficial as an anesthetic. For use during various medical procedures, anodyne relieved pain. The liquid was also consumed as an alternative to alcohol when believed to be less harmful.
In 1776, nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” was discovered and the use of inhalable drugs, or inhalants, became more popular. Other gases were created as anesthetics, and when a drug alters perception, abuse of the substance is inevitable.
Types Of Inhalants
There are three categories that all liquid, spray, nitrite, and gas inhalants fall under: organic volatile solvents, volatile nitrites, and anesthetics.
Organic volatile solvents are generally derived from petroleum and are then combined with other chemicals. These combinations include nail polish remover, kerosene, glue, air dusters, paint thinners, lacquers, spot removers, plastic cement, lighter fluid, gasoline, metallic paints, gasoline additive (STP), and several household aerosol sprays.
Volatile nitrites include amyl, butyl, and cyclohexyl nitrite, also called poppers. These substances are used as blood vessel dilators for people with heart problems. The drugs create more blood flow, and when abused, via air fresheners, for example, the effects begin within ten seconds and last for up to a minute. These compounds are often abused in recreational or party setting, and in sexual situations.
Anesthetics are manufactured to block pain or to induce a loss of consciousness for patients who are undergoing surgery, or other invasive medical procedures. While nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is most commonly used by dentists, the drug is widely abused in party settings to achieve euphoria and giddiness. Other anesthetics are halothane, ether, ethylene, ethyl chloride, and cyclopropane.
What is Huffing?
The term “huffing” is used to describe the process of inhaling a substance that is not made for human consumption. Huffing is done by breathing in the fumes directly from containers, or from a cloth soaked in the chemicals, from a bag, or from a balloon. Huffing is done either through the nose or the mouth, in an effort to feel a stupefying, intoxicating, and occasionally psychedelic high.
“A 17-year-old recovering inhalant addict shares his experience with huffing“
‘Huffing’? I ‘huffed’ gas when I was 9 years old. And then when I was 11 or 12, I ‘huffed’ for a year. I’d inhale 12 cans of air freshener a day. My mom would buy the big packs at Costco – she didn’t know I was ‘huffing’ them ‘cause I’d throw them away, and then when she found out, I had to stop. I’m surprised I’m not dead from it because I did it for a long time. I’d just sit there and use it until I passed out.”
Signs & Symptoms Of Inhalant Abuse & Addiction
For parents of adolescents or teenagers, searching for the signs of inhalant use is important.
Have you noticed any of the following?
- A rash or series of sores around the mouth and nose (a common side effect of huffing)
- Paint or other chemicals on the face or fingers
- Intoxicated behavior, such as loss of coordination, slurred speech, nausea, and loss of appetite
- Withdrawal symptoms, like headaches, irritability, restlessness, and irregular mood
- Traces of inhalants on the body or clothing
- Chemical smelling breath
- Paint or solvent stains on clothing
- Toxicity to cells in the lungs, brain, liver, kidney tissue, and blood
- Finding hidden empty spray paint containers, chemically soaked rags or clothing, or several used markers or correction fluid bottles
If you suspect that your child, or another loved one, is abusing any inhalant products, it is important to get treatment now, before any more damage is done.
What Are The Side Effects Of Inhalant?
The inhalation of harmful chemicals creates intense damage to the brain and body. Physical, mental, and emotional harm is often permanent and irreversible.
People abuse inhalants for the same reason they abuse alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and any other mind-altering substance: to escape from reality, to numb painful emotions, and to experience an altered consciousness.
Inhalants, such as model glue, nail polish remover, and spray paint, contain a powerful chemical called toluene. This substance, most often found in gold and silver, has been shown to activate the brain’s pleasure center. In a similar way as other drugs, such as alcohol and cocaine, toluene makes the brain think that the pleasurable feeling is most important and, consequently, a user can quickly become addicted.
Inhalant users do not understand the risks when the desire to get high becomes so powerful.
Physical Effects of Inhalants
The way most inhalants affect the human body is similar to other drugs that fall under the category of central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Alcohol and many pharmaceutical drugs are also in this category.
CNS depressants can cause the following physical effects:
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady gait (pattern of walking)
- Decreased blood pressure
- Loss of balance
- Nerve damage
- Asphyxiation or Apoxia
- Toxicity to cells in the lungs, brain, liver, kidney tissue, and blood
Mental & Emotional Effects of Inhalants
The brain is impacted by inhalants, leading to the following mental and emotional effects:
- Mental confusion
- Mood elevation
- Memory impairment
- Delirium (an acutely disturbed state of mind)
Inhalants And Solvents Addiction Treatment
Inhalants and Solvents addiction is a serious problem throughout the nation. If you or someone you love is suffering from Inhalants and Solvents addiction, you know how devastating Inhalants and Solvents addiction can be and how difficult it is to break free from Inhalants and Solvents. To achieve a lasting recovery from Inhalants and Solvents addiction, you need professional support. ????Inhalants and Solvents.com offers insight into the steps to an effective recovery from Inhalants and Solvents addiction and shares what you should consider when making the important decision to get help for Inhalants and Solvents addiction.
Treatment For Inhalant Abuse & Addiction
With detoxification and formal treatment, anyone who has been abusing, or has become addicted to, inhalants can break the cycle, can heal, and can choose a new life of recovery.
As is the case with alcoholism and other drug addiction, formal treatment is needed to break the cycle of inhalant addiction. The first step is always a medically-monitored detoxification program where a medical team assists an addict in ridding the body and brain of the harmful toxins left from substance abuse.
The facilities that Recovery Now TV connects clients with combining the most effective techniques of physical and mental therapies to treat every facet of inhalant abuse that has disrupted daily functioning.
For anyone who are worried about personal inhalant use, or the use by a loved one, help is available. Seeing any symptoms of addiction is reason for at least seeking more information. When you speak with a trained professional, you can find out what options are available, and how to take the first step toward a new life without mind-altering substances.
Just as you would not ignore the warning signs of cancer, diabetes, or other harmful diseases, take action now to prevent the worsening of inhalant abuse and addiction. Damage can be reversed and the underlying reasons for using can be identified, addressed, and healed when intervention and treatment are applied as soon as possible.
Life is too precious to waste on addiction. And your time is too precious to waste on inadequate treatment. When you make the important decision to seek help, you want to be sure that you are starting on a path that leads to success.
Promises Treatment Centers has helped over 10,000 people – plus their families, partners, and loved ones – find lasting happiness and fulfillment. After 15 years of leadership in the health care community, Promises is renowned for their warm, confidential, and safe environment – an environment staffed by the best in the field. While other treatment centers may make questionable claims, the fact is that no other facility has their stellar reputation and record of success.
All of Promises’ nurses, therapists, counselors, mental health workers, and legal experts are focused on your well-being and comfort. They provide comprehensive, individualized treatment, built on proven methodology, which provides results designed to last a lifetime.
They can help you. They will help you. All you have to do is call. Start your new life now – a life filled with promise.