Inhalants are substances that produce chemicals vapors that are then inhaled to affect the central nervous system and give someone a mind-altering effect. People have found ways to inhale other substances, however, an inhalant is a substance that can only be misused by breathing in the vapors. They can be found in someone’s home or work and are easily accessible at stores.
Inhalants are classified into four categories:
- Aerosols: Aerosols are typically in a spray can and propel chemicals for someone to inhale. These generally include spray paints, keyboard cleaner (duster), hair sprays, and even cooking sprays (vegetable oil).
- Volatile solvents: These solvents are vaporized from liquids and can be purchased easily. Paint thinner and remover, glue, gasoline, and markers are included in this category.
- Gases: Many gases are obtainable and commonly misused. Inhalant gases may include nitrous oxide, ether, refrigerants, butane lighters, and chloroform. Nitrous oxide is misused more often and a person can find it in a whipped cream dispenser.
- Nitrates: Nitrates work differently from other inhalants as they relax one’s muscles instead of producing a psychoactive effect. Nitrate inhalants are normally used as a sexual enhancer and referred to as “poppers.”
Unfortunately, inhalants carry a great risk for misuse and often lead to substance use disorder.
Inhalants produce a powerful psychoactive effect that happens within seconds, and it is not uncommon for someone misusing inhalants to experience strong effects. Some effects are often described as the same feeling one may get from alcohol, only more potent. The effects of inhalants are easily noticed and can include:
- Impaired motor skills (stumbling, unable to keep balance)
- Impaired judgment
- Slurred speech
Behavioral signs of inhalant misuse often include:
- Regularly sniffing clothing sleeves
- Stains from paint or other substances on the fingers, face, or clothing
- Clothes or rags that smell like harsh chemicals
- Hiding containers, cans, and butane lighters
- Odd or bad breath (chemical odor)
Long-term, regular use of inhalants can cause serious damage to one’s vital organs, such as the brain, lungs, and heart. It is best to find effective treatment early on to prevent any irreversible damage.
A person struggling with inhalants addiction usually develops a psychological reliance rather than a physical dependence. Once the presence of inhalants is absent from someone’s body, withdrawal symptoms occur from overactivity of the CNS.
Detoxification is difficult but obtainable with the right help. If someone is struggling with addiction and attempts to detox alone they have a higher risk of recurring use.
If you or a loved one is in need of medical detoxification, The Recovery Village can help make a substance-free life fun, and obtainable. We offer a safe environment for our patients in which they have access to 24/7 care and are provided medication to help ease the symptoms that occur from substance discontinuance.
The Recovery Village starts each treatment with an assessment to determine the severity of misuse in order to determine which treatment option is best for you or a loved one. Supervised detoxification from our medical staff then begins, as well as access to individual and group therapy.
Our team is dedicated to helping you live a substance-free life and to have a positive recovery. Counseling is provided to help a person struggling with addiction to discover what caused their substance misuse, to develop strategies to prevent recurrence of use and to promote long-term recovery.
If someone truly wishes to remove themselves from any possible temptations or has a severe inhalant use disorder, inpatient rehab may be the best choice. Inpatient treatment programs offer 24/7 medical assistance as needed and receive full-time care. Choosing an inpatient program with The Recovery Village promotes a safe, supported recovery.
Outpatient programs are often chosen for someone whose inhalant misuse is not considered severe but still wants a safe, medically supervised recovery. Oftentimes outpatient rehab is recommended upon completion of inpatient treatment.
At The Recovery Village, our outpatient treatment program allows patients to return to their daily life, including frequent visits for inhalant treatments. Therapy is still offered for our outpatient options.
If you or someone you know is suffering from inhalants misuse or substance use disorder, The Recovery Village is available with facilities throughout the nation. For more information, contact us today at our 24/7 toll-free hotline 855-548-9825 to speak with a representative and enroll in one of our treatment programs.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.