Some might not be familiar with inhalant abuse. It’s technically not considered a drug, but it’s a substance that people abuse and become addicted over time. Inhalants slow down the body’s functioning, causing numb feelings and euphoric highs. These feelings, however, last a brief amount of time. Therefore, users inhale substances repetitively to extend their high.
EFFECTS ON HEALTH
Inhalants are very dangerous. While the highs are alluring for users, inhalants have major negative effects physically and mentally. It is very risky because they cause permanent brain damage and possibly sudden death. People have experienced hallucinations, lightheadedness, and delusions. Some will feel drowsy or dizzy for hours. Some long term side effects include: liver damage, kidney damage, hearing loss, brain damage, delayed behavioral develop, loss of coordination, limb spasms, bone marrow damage, and death.
TYPES OF INHALANTS
What makes inhalants dangerous, is it’s availability. They are legal substances that we find around our house and can easily be bought in a store: solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrites. Here’s a list of commonly abused inhalants.
- paint thinners or removers
- dry-cleaning fluids
- lighter fluid
- correction fluids
- felt-tip marker fluid
- electronic contact cleaners
- spray paints
- hair or deodorant sprays
- aerosol computer cleaning products
- vegetable oil sprays
- butane lighters
- propane tanks
- whipped cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets)
- nitrous oxide
- video head cleaner
- room odorizer
- leather cleaner
- liquid aroma
WAYS PEOPLE INHALE
- Huffing - inhaling a rag soaked in chemicals by covering one’s mouth.
- Sniffing - sniffing fumes from a container or dispenser such as glue bottle.
- Some spray aerosols directly into their nose or mouth.
- Bagging - inhaling fumes from chemicals sprayed or put in a bag, either plastic or paper.
- Another form of huffing would be breathing through the mouth and inhaling chemicals through a balloon.
- People also inhale straight from cans.
If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to inhalants, please seek support. Contact Crownview Co-Occurring Institute to get in touch with a trained medical professional who can create an individualized plan to get life back on track.