Inhalants are a wide range of substances that provide effects by means of inhalation. Most inhalants are extremely addictive and can promote addictive tendencies after just the first use. And, offer a number of dangerous, harmful symptoms with short and long-term abuse. Here at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services, we understand the complications and struggles that come with an inhalant addiction. And, we strive to offer a safe and effective means to detoxing and treatment for individuals and families struggling with this type of addiction.
Exploring what Inhalants are and How They’re Used
Most inhalants are store-bought items that you can most likely find around your home. Basically, they’re chemicals that can induce “high” effects when they’re ingested. Individuals who abuse inhalants typically “huff”, or inhale the substance by placing it onto a rag and over their nose and mouth or breathing near the chemicals deeply. Some inhalants that can lead to abuse include:
Solvents: cleaning products, bleach, marker fluid, gasoline, glue, lighter fluid, and paint thinner.
Aerosol sprays: spray paint, cooking spray, computer keyboard cleaner, and hairspray.
Nitrites: Both alkyl and amyl, these are used for sexual enhancements.
Gases: Whipping cream cans, chloroform, ether, butane, and nitrous oxide.
While inhalants may not be the most addictive substances on the earth, those that abuse them are usually struggling with other types of addictions. And, with long-term use, can become physically and psychologically dependent on inhalants. But, along with addiction, the most worrying part of inhalant abuse is the dangers it poses.
Abusing inhalants can stop the cardiovascular system in its track, leading to “sudden sniffing death”. The effects of inhalants can increase heart rate, leading to heart failure. And, this can happen to first-time users and those who have abused inhalants for years. Additionally, along with heart failure, inhalant abuse can lead to a number of other fatal symptoms such as asphyxiation, suffocation, seizures, choking, and coma.
Symptoms of Inhalant Abuse, Dependence, and Withdrawal
Because inhalant abuse is so deadly and because it mostly affects the younger generation, it’s important for parents, family, and friends to be aware of the symptoms of abuse. This way, those affected can be encouraged to find help from their loved ones. Basically, the signs of inhalant abuse are much like other drugs and alcohol. These signs may include avoidance behaviors, slurred speech, and difficulty holding concentration. However, the biggest way to identify inhalant abuse is to identify the inhalant collection and paraphernalia. These items may include paints, aerosol cans, bleach, balloons, empty bottles, and rags smelling of chemicals.
Since inhalants are addictive, detox may be required to reduce an individual’s chance at relapse. When an individual stops using a substance they are addicted to, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are often uncomfortable and can influence addicted individuals to use again just to stop the discomfort. Withdrawal symptoms inhalant abusers may experience include:
- Body aches
- Muscle soreness
- Increased heartbeat
Detox for Inhalants at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services
Here at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services, we understand the challenges withdrawal brings to the detox stage. And, we want to give our clients the best chance of obtaining recovery success. So, we aim to make the detox phase a bit more comfortable by offering medications to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. This way, individuals can detox from the comfort of their own homes, continue with schooling or work, and continue to get the help and support they need with treatment.
If your loved one needs help with inhalant abuse, don’t delay. Get the help that’s needed to recover from a life of addiction today by calling us at (925) 289-1430.