Because of the fact that these products can be widely available and get misused and abused, it's crucial to educate yourself and your loved ones on how to spot the first signs of addiction, how to address the problem, and if needed seek help from a drug use rehab as early as possible.
What Are Inhalants?
Inhalants are various substances and products that people inhale in order to get high, but are not made with the intention to be used like this. Often, these are different sprays, paints, paint thinners, glues, nitrites, and cleaning fluids, which contain harmful and psychoactive substances.
The fact is that the demographic especially prone to using inhalants are children and young adults. The statistics show that even 1 in 5 kids report having used inhalants by the eighth grade. According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, inhalant substance abuse was a problem that affected the younger groups the most - children age 12 to 17 accounted for 2.7% (683,000) of inhalant users in the U.S. population.
This is a serious problem since many harmful substances that can be found in these inhalants can severely influence a child's development, causing neurological problems.
Inhalants can be used in several ways. Some of the most popular ones include:
Types of Inhalants
sprayable substances containing solvents and propellants, for example, hair sprays, cooking oil sprays, spray paint, or spray-on deodorant.
ranging from chloroform and nitrous oxide to butane lighters, propane tanks, and whipped cream dispensers.
volatile solvents that release vapors at room temperature. They can be found in felt-tip markers, gasoline, dry-cleaning fluid, paint thinners/removers, and glues.
more often used as muscle relaxers and sexual enhancers, nitrites are sold under different street names, like liquid aroma or leather cleaner.
Inhalant Abuse Symptoms
Just like we've talked about above, inhalant abuse is a problem that is quite common, especially with children, teens, and young adults. For this reason, partners and guardians can benefit greatly from knowing the signs and inhalant abuse symptoms.
The fact is that inhalants can be quite addictive, and it's also possible to develop a tolerance for them after prolonged use, which leads to inhalant users needing to inhale more of these substances to achieve the same effects.
It's also imperative to know that inhalants are by no means harmless and safe to use. Long-term effects of inhalant abuse can lead to many adverse health consequences, bone marrow damage, neurological issues, delayed behavioral development, and liver and kidney damage included (source).
Quick reactions and interventions of parents and family for people who abuse inhalants can reduce the risk of severe complications and even death.
The common signs of inhalant addiction may include:
Risk Factors that May Contribute to Inhalant Abuse
Dangers of Inhalant Abuse
The body will also react to substance abuse. Both short-term and chronic inhalant use can result in irregular and rapid heart rhythms, heart failure, liver failure, seizures, and even death.
Some of these health issues may be temporary, and there is a chance for full recovery after getting off drugs, but often these symptoms are irreversible or can cause health complications for a long time.
Can a person overdose on inhalants?
This practice can be very dangerous and can result in an overdose and death. A “sudden sniffing death” can occur after only one session of inhalant use and can be caused by an increased and irregular heart rate. Such a sudden death is often the result of inhaling butane, propane, and aerosols.
Another often cause of death from inhalant abuse is related to asphyxiation. This is the state in which fumes from the inhalants limit oxygen intake. There is also the risk of suffocating when using drugs with a plastic bag on the head, blocking air from getting to the lungs.
What are some of the symptoms of inhalants overdose? Most commonly, a person who is at risk of fatal overdose will experience seizures, coma, and hallucinations. Immediate medical intervention is required when an overdose is taking place. If you see someone exhibiting these or similar symptoms, don't hesitate to call an ambulance.
Inhalant overdose prevention
If you're addicted and unable to stop using inhalants, there are many ways through which you can receive help. There are support groups, substance use disorder therapies, mental health specialists, and family therapy mediators that can offer substantial support for those affected by inhalant addiction and their loved ones.
Where To Look for Help?
Often, it's beneficial for addicts to go through behavioral therapy, which focuses on understanding the underlying issues that led to addiction and how to navigate them better in the future.
The support of family and friends is also invaluable, as a strong support system promotes recovery and staying in sobriety.
Find the Help You Deserve
At Miracles Asia, you'll be able to benefit from medical assistance to help you cope with withdrawal symptoms. You'll also be able to go through individual therapy, which will shine a light on your addiction mechanisms and triggers and how to manage them.
Our group recovery sessions are also an important part of our treatment program, allowing you to express your feelings, thoughts, and experiences with a group of people who are going through the same thing.
You'll also find time to relax and explore the beauty of Phuket. Beautiful beaches and forests create the perfect atmosphere to promote healing and finding balance that you'll be able to take with you once you leave our program.
See what we can do for you and how you can change your life for the better.