Treatment for Inhalants Abuse
People are generally on the lookout for obvious and illegal drug use in the lives of those they love — but with inhalants, it’s not so simple. Everyone home in the United States likely has multiple items within it that appear innocent but can be inhaled to deliver a high, leading to potentially serious health consequences.
More than 750,000 Americans use inhalants for the first time each year, according to a study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Those who abuse inhalants can have difficulty stopping their use of them and can even become addicted. Many of those who abuse inhalants start young, and while use usually tapers off as they grow older, sometimes after they start using a different drug, that’s not always the case.
Unfortunately, inhalant use is a continuing trend, according to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. In 2017, 9.3 percent of Americans age 12 or older reported having used inhalants at some point in the lifetime.
Those who are experiencing a problem with inhalant abuse or addiction don’t have to face it alone; inhalants treatment programs are available! The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers offer individuals and their family treatment for inhalants and hope for a life free from the harmful influence of inhalant abuse.
What are Inhalants and What is Inhalant Abuse?
Inhalants are substances that people take only by inhaling through the nose or mouth — also known as sniffing, huffing, ballooning, glading, dusting, snorting or bagging, depending on the method used for inhaling, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and MedlinePlus. A substance repurposed as an inhalant drug can have mind-altering (psychoactive) properties if inhaled, meaning they get the user “high.” Because the common household or medical products used as inhalants are not intended for that purpose, those who use a substance as such are participants in inhalant abuse and could be in need of inhalants treatment.
Types of Inhalants
Many types of inhalants exist. Substances that can serve as an inhalant drug include solvents, aerosol sprays, gases and nitrites. Chemicals used as inhalants are often commonly found around the home or at the workplace. NIDA’s website provides the following substance list of examples of products used as inhalants:
- Solvents — Paint thinners and removers, dry cleaning fluids, gasoline, lighter fluid, correction fluid, felt-tip marker fluid, electronic contact cleaners, glue
- Aerosols — Spray paints, hair spray, deodorant spray, computer cleaning products, vegetable oil spray
- Gases — Butane lighters, propane tanks, whipped cream aerosols, ether, chloroform, nitrous oxide
- Nitrites — These are no longer sold legally, according to MedlinePlus, but when sold illegally may be labeled as video head cleaner, room odorizer, leather cleaner, liquid aroma; nitrites can also be found in prescription medications to treat chest pain
Some inhalants street names, according to MedlinePlus, include air blast, bold, chroming, discorama, glad, hippie crack, moon gas, oz, poor man’s pot, rush, snappers, whippets and whiteout.
Are Inhalants Addictive?
Repeatedly using inhalants can lead a person to become addicted to them — also known as developing a huffing addiction — according to NIDA. Signs of inhalant abuse and addiction can include health problems and problems fulfilling obligations at home, school or work.
Signs of Inhalant Abuse
The following signs may indicate someone is during inhalants, according to MedlinePlus:
- Smell of chemicals on breath or clothing
- Constant cough and runny nose
- Dilated pupils or watery eyes
- Excessive tiredness
- Hiding rags or containers
- Mood swings
- Stains from paint or other chemicals on clothing, hands or face
- Blisters or rash on the face
- Low appetite, weight loss, nausea and vomiting
What are the Side Effects of Inhalants?
Many different side effects of inhalants, also known as huffing side effects, can impact those who abuse inhalants. Inhalants impact the central nervous system, slowing down brain activity and resulting in numerous side effects. Some of the short term effects of inhalants include mental problems, slurred speech, lessened coordination, a “high” or euphoric feeling, dizziness, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting, drowsiness, and headache.
Along with those side effects, inhalants can impact both the brain and the body in lasting ways, according to NIDA and MedlinePlus. The long term effects of inhalants can affect both the brain and the body.
Inhalants effects on the brain
- Brain damage from reduced oxygen to the brain
- Delayed behavioral development
Inhalants effects on the body
- Nerve damage leading to limb spasms and poor coordination
- Bone marrow damage
- Hearing loss
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Birth defects (when used during pregnancy)
Abuse of some inhalants, such as highly concentrated solvents and aerosol sprays, can also result in overdose, seizures, coma, cardiac arrest, suffocation and death — even if it’s a person’s first time using an inhalant.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Inhalants
According to NIDA, withdrawal symptoms of inhalants can include nausea, reduced appetite, sweating, trouble sleeping, and changes in mood.
How is Inhalant Abuse Treated?
Medication is not used to treat inhalant abuse. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling programs are the primary forms of treatment for people experiencing inhalant abuse. This therapy helps people to recognize the situations where they are likely to abuse inhalants, and equips them with the tools to avoid or find productive ways to cope with such situations, according to NIDA.
What Does Inhalant Abuse Treatment Look Like at The Phoenix?
Phoenix Recovery Experience
Patients and their family who engage in The Phoenix recovery experience for therapy and treatment for inhalants abuse are treated with a continuum of care that guides them through recovery and equips them with relevant disease management skills. Participants learn to identify, define, and achieve stability in their pursuit of a meaningful life. We work to build self-confidence and improve the emotional and cognitive condition of our patients and their family members, facilitating healing in strained or damaged relationships. Realistic applied behaviors are taught to enable patients and their family to return to or redefine their dreams and engage in meaningful pursuits while receiving ongoing strength from recovery-based support systems.
The Phoenix Difference
The Phoenix Recovery Center is driven by this mission statement: “Empowering individuals and families suffering from addiction and mental health disorders to celebrate life through lasting solutions.”
We at The Phoenix are passionate about total behavioral health in overcoming substance abuse and addiction. Our recovery programs are carefully tailored and are defined by research. We care deeply for each of our patients and strive to make a profound positive impact on those we help on their path to living a fulfilling life. All of our efforts are directed at equipping patients and their family with the knowledge and applied behaviors needed to manage their substance abuse, addiction, or mental health disorder and to reclaim a meaningful life.
We are excited to answer all of your questions and support you in your healing process. If you would like to learn more or begin your journey to recovery, please call us today at (801) 438-3185.