Signs, Symptoms, and Side Effects of Inhalants
These substances are dangerous and have a great risk for misuse, especially since they are easily obtained. Most inhalants can be found on store shelves or in someone’s cabinet. Although other commonly misused substances can also be inhaled, the general term for “inhalants” is described as a substance that can produce mind-altering effects and can only be inhaled.
- Gases: Examples of gas inhalants are refrigerants, butane lights, ether, and nitrous oxide. Of these gases, nitrous oxide is misused most often and is found in whipped cream dispensers.
- Volatile solvents: These solvents are liquids that produce a vapor at room temperature, which is then inhaled. This category of gases is the most inexpensive, easiest kind to obtain. Glues, paint thinner and remover, nail polish remover, felt-tip markers, and gasoline are examples of volatile solvents.
- Aerosols: Spray cans that contain solvents. Some substances used as aerosol inhalants are hair sprays, spray paint, and cooking sprays (vegetable oil).
- Nitrates: These inhalants are different from others as they affect one’s body differently. Instead of altering the CNS, nitrate inhalants relax muscles and dilate blood vessels which increases sexual pleasure, making nitrates work as a sexual enhancer. They are typically sold as leather cleaners and room deodorizers. Other types of nitrates are isoamyl (amyl), isobutyl (butyl), and cyclohexyl, and are referred to as “poppers.”
- Slurred speech
- Poor or impaired motor skills (stumbling, falling, dropping items)
- Stains from paint or other substances on clothes, face, and hands
- Sniffing the sleeves on clothing
- Hidden clothes or rags that have a chemical smell
- Hiding empty containers and butane lighters
A person taking inhalants may also appear to be drunk and disorientated.
Inhalants are dangerous and produce severe long-term effects. If you or someone you know is suffering from inhalant misuse, seeking early help is the best course of action to prevent any permanent damage.
If you believe that you or someone you know is misusing inhalants and developing substance use disorder, contact The Recovery Village today. We are available to help you begin a drug-free life. To find a location and treatment plan that’s right for you, visit us online at www.TheRecoveryVillage.com or call our toll-free 24/7 hotline at 855-548-9825.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.