Inhalant Dependency

Inhalant Dependency

Inhalant Dependency

Inhalant dependence is a physical and/or psychological dependence on inhalant use whereas addiction is when users can’t control their use of inhalants despite being aware of the consequential mental and physical health effects.

Inhalants are called such due to their administration by inhalation. The ease of purchase and presence of inhalants in the home makes it very difficult to quit using them. They include products such as spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning fluids. Inhalants are most commonly used by children and adolescents, and 13% to 16% of eight graders have used them at least once.

Inhalants are dangerous, addictive, unstable, and flammable chemicals in the form of vapors or pressurized gases. When inhaled, sprayed onto the mouth or nose mucosal lining, or absorbed from a sprayed rag and placed in the mouth, inhalants have psychoactive properties and produce brief, psychotropic effects. They disturb the central nervous system and slow brain activity, and can kill users during just one use from a heart attack or asphyxiation. Called huff, hippie crack, whippets, or laughing gas; inhaling them as a drug can be called snorting, bagging, sniffing, or huffing.

Types Of Inhalants:

The classes of inhalants include:

  • Solvents – glue, nail polish, gasoline, markers, paint thinner, lighter fluid
  • Aerosols – spray paint, hairspray, deodorant, cooking oil sprays
  • Gases – butane lighter gas, nitrous oxide, chloroform, propane tanks
  • Nitrates – leather cleaner, liquid aroma, chest pain spray, room odorizer, cans of whipped cream

Health Effects of Inhalants:

Inhalant intoxication is characterized by:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Excitability and euphoria
  • Loss of self-control
  • Light-headedness and dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Blacking out
  • Slurred or distorted speech
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache

The effects of inhalants last for a few minutes.

Risk Factors for Inhalants:

Inhalants are agents that act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. As such, a higher dose of these substances can result in a lethal overdose — the consequence of heart failure or the drug causing death.

Additional adverse effects of inhalant use include:

  • Liver, kidney, nerve, and brain damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Delay in behavioral development
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Seizures, heart attack, coma, and overdose

Treatment for Inhalant Dependency:

Addiction is not common, but dependence should be stopped ASAP because of the severe mental and physical health risks.

  • Assessment – It is important to have a substance abuse assessment completed by a drug and alcohol addiction specialist to determine the appropriate treatment for each individual with inhalant dependency.
  • Counseling – Cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational therapy
  • Detox and rehab – Some individuals experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking inhalants. For these people, medically supervised detox and inpatient rehabilitation offer the best chances of a successful recovery.
  • Aftercare – Upon completion of detox, a patient receives aftercare, which includes psychoeducation — therapeutic support and education for the patient and family — for relapse prevention purposes.

Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea and loss of appetite, insomnia, mood swings, and sweating.

 

Types Of Inhalants:

The classes of inhalants include:

  • Solvents – glue, nail polish, gasoline, markers, paint thinner, lighter fluid
  • Aerosols – spray paint, hairspray, deodorant, cooking oil sprays
  • Gases – butane lighter gas, nitrous oxide, chloroform, propane tanks
  • Nitrates – leather cleaner, liquid aroma, chest pain spray, room odorizer, cans of whipped cream
 

Health Effects of Inhalants:

Inhalant intoxication is characterized by:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Excitability and euphoria
  • Loss of self-control
  • Light-headedness and dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Blacking out
  • Slurred or distorted speech
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache

The effects of inhalants last for a few minutes.

 

Risk factors for Inhalants:

Inhalants are agents that act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. As such, a higher dose of these substances can result in a lethal overdose — the consequence of heart failure or the drug causing death.

Additional adverse effects of inhalant use include:

  • Liver, kidney, nerve, and brain damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Delay in behavioral development
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Seizures, heart attack, coma, and overdose
 

Treatment for Inhalant Dependency:

Addiction is not common, but dependence should be stopped ASAP because of the severe mental and physical health risks.

  • Assessment – It is important to have a substance abuse assessment completed by a drug and alcohol addiction specialist to determine the appropriate treatment for each individual with inhalant dependency.
  • Counseling – Cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational therapy
  • Detox and rehab – Some individuals experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking inhalants. For these people, medically supervised detox and inpatient rehabilitation offer the best chances of a successful recovery.
  • Aftercare – Upon completion of detox, a patient receives aftercare, which includes psychoeducation — therapeutic support and education for the patient and family — for relapse prevention purposes.

Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea and loss of appetite, insomnia, mood swings, and sweating.

SourceS DRUGABUSE.gov – Inhalants | Inhalants.org | SSCOUNCIL – Inhalants Toolkit