What are the dangers of Inhalant abuse?
Inhalants are a category of drugs which are inhaled into the lungs to achieve a high, either directly from the source or indirectly using a rag or some other paraphernalia.
The Dangers of Abusing Inhalants
The biggest danger of abusing inhalants is death. This is nothing to experiment with—sniffing toxic chemicals can cause heart failure due to tissue death or overstimulation, or cause suffocation as the chemicals are absorbed in the lungs, displacing oxygen. Sudden heart failure due to inhalant abuse is known as sudden sniffing death syndrome. It can occur the first time you inhale the harmful chemical.
If inhalant abuse doesn’t lead to immediate death, you’re not out of the woods. Inhalants impact the brain, cardio pulmonary, respiratory and other bodily systems, and may lead to coma or death in the longer run with continued abuse. Brain damage from the buildup of toxic substances can severely impact the quality of your life.
Other harmful irreversible effects include:
- hearing loss
- limb spasms
- bone marrow
- central nervous system (including brain) damage
If you or someone you love is abusing inhalants, getting help is imperative. It can be a matter of life or death. We can help. Call to speak to someone right now—(888) 837-6577.
The Forgotten Drug Problem?
Millions of Americans have abused inhalants, yet the consequences of this type of drug use often go unreported in comparison to drugs like heroin or prescription opiates. People tend not to think of popular inhalants—many of them everyday household items—as drugs.
The term inhalants can be used to refer to a wide range of dangerous and even addictive substances. Inhalants include:
- Volatile solvents: chemicals that become vapor or gas at room temperature, including glue, lighter fluid, felt-tip markers, paint thinners, or dry-cleaning fluids
- Aerosols: spray deodorants, insect repellent, hair spray, or cooking oil sprays
- Gases: most typically nitrous oxide, which can be obtained through dental supply stores or via empty whipped cream canisters, but also includes propane tanks, lighters, and refrigerator canisters
- Nitrites: isoamyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite, or cyclohexyl nitrite, typically used for medical procedures or to treat chest pains
Speaking the Language
Inhalant abuse is commonly referred to as huffing, because inhalants are breathed into the lungs either by spraying them into the nose, or by soaking a piece of cloth and holding the cloth up to the face. It may also be referred to as sniffing or snorting. Bagging is when a bag is saturated with the inhalant and the fumes are inhaled.
Other terms for inhalants you may hear on the street include:
- Air blast
- Bullet bolt
- Buzz bomb
- Hiagra in a bottle
- Hippie crack
- Laughing gas
- Locker room
- Moon gas
- Poor man’s pot
- Rush Snappers
- Shoot the breeze
Signs of Inhalant Abuse
Most inhalants are central nervous system depressants, so signs of an inhalant high are similar to alcohol or opioid intoxication. However, nitrites are stimulants, and can cause hallucinations or excitement similar to signs seen with cocaine intoxication.
Typical signs of inhalant abuse include:
- Paint or chemical smell on clothing, skin, or breath
- Stains from paints, solvents, or other chemicals on the hands or face
- Slurred speech
- Acting drunk or disoriented
- Loss of inhibition or motor coordination
- Exhausted or fatigued for several hours without cause
- Drowsiness or nodding off during conversation
- Nausea or vomiting
- “Glue sniffer’s rash,” found around the nose or mouth
- Hiding paraphernalia like used rags, tissues, bags, and empty cans
If you or someone you love is abusing inhalants, getting help is imperative. It can be a matter of life or death. We can help.
Withdrawal from Inhalants
Like any other addictive substance, inhalants can lead to withdrawal symptoms if a person stops abusing them after periods of chronic use. Proper care should be sought to ensure the person’s safety during the withdrawal process.
Your Treatment. Your Recovery. Your Life.
Because of the toxic dangers of inhalants, it is important for people who struggle with abuse of these substances to seek help as soon as possible. Parents who suspect inhalant abuse in their children should seek professional help immediately.
Often inhalant abuse begins as an attempt to self-medicate a deeper hurt. For real healing and recovery, the underlying causes of substance abuse must be addressed. And this is vitally important when you’re choosing a treatment program or facility.
To get at this underlying hurt and bring lasting healing takes a holistic—spirit, mind and body—approach to addiction diagnosis, management and treatment.
Many programs focus narrowly on what can be addressed from a medical perspective. Research, however, continues to show us that spirituality positively influences recovery in many ways. Although this is well known, and medical and behavioral health professionals have been saying addictions are holistic illnesses that need holistic treatment, the majority of programs still refuse to look to God in the healing process.
Different from many other treatment facilities, Honey Lake Clinic offers a residential, holistic program which treats each client on three different levels:
Spiritual: Helping you grow closer to God, apply His truths, and discern His will for you.
Psychological: Teaching decision-making skills to help you cope with underlying struggles.
Physical: Using therapy and medication, if needed, to re-circuit or renew your mind.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced doctors and staff will help you or your loved one bring spiritual power and clearer psychological understanding to recovery.