Inhalants are chemicals found in numerous workplace and household products that produce vapors or fumes inhaled to induce mind-altering effects. Inhalants are rapidly absorbed into the brain, creating a fast-acting high that can last up to 45 minutes if no other breaths are taken. However, many who abuse inhalants continue to take additional breaths to sustain the effects for several hours. A significant risk of inhalants is that they are so easily accessible in the form of over 1,000 everyday household, school, and workplace products. Chronic abuse of inhalants can have irreversible side effects, including coma and death. If you or someone you love is abusing inhalants, it is critical to receive inhalant addiction treatment.
Spokane Falls Recovery Center created an inhalant addiction treatment program because of an increase in solvent-related treatment inquiries. Contact our team at 844.962.2775 to learn more. Choosing inhalant treatment can be a life-saving decision.
Learn to Recognize the Symptoms of Inhalant Abuse
Many people are surprised to learn that inhalant abuse and addiction are most prominent among teenagers. Inhalant use is more common in males than females, and the peak age for abuse is 14 to 15. However, abuse has occurred in children as young as six. In most cases, inhalant abuse starts to decline in the later teenage years but can continue into adulthood.
Rates of inhalant abuse are higher in rural communities and among people with lower incomes, higher unemployment rates, and severe mental health disorders.
Compared to alcohol and other drugs of abuse, recognizing the symptoms of inhalant abuse can be more difficult. Only a small amount is necessary for the desired effects and because the sources are easily accessible household products. However, signs to watch for include:
- An extensive supply of products that can be used as inhalants
- A large number of empty containers
- Hidden or discarded rags that smell like chemicals
- A strong smell of chemicals on the breath or clothing
- Stains on clothes or skin, particularly hands and mouth
- Dry rash or infection around the mouth and nose
Physical and mental symptoms include slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, irritability, paranoia, and hostility.
Signs of Inhalant Addiction
As with other addictions, inhalant addiction affects people differently depending upon factors including age, length of abuse, amount of abuse, the use of alcohol or other drugs, and physical and mental health. However, some common signs of inhalant addiction can include:
- The continued use of inhalants despite adverse outcomes
- Inability to decrease or stop using inhalants despite attempts to do so
- Spending the majority of time using or recovering from using inhalants
- Changes in peer groups, social isolation, or new relationship conflicts
- Inability to maintain responsibilities at home, in school, or at work
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using inhalants such as nausea, moodiness, or mental health problems.
Withdrawal symptoms are the clearest indicator of addiction.
The Dangers of Inhalants
Because many inhalants are familiar household products, they may not seem very dangerous. However, most of these products, especially solvents and aerosol sprays, contain high amounts of harmful chemicals. Inhalants are central nervous system (CSN) depressants. High doses and deep breathing of inhalants can result in seizures, coma, sudden cardiac death, or asphyxiation. Research indicates that approximately 200 people die from complications of inhalant use annually.
Long-term effects of inhalant abuse or addiction include:
- Brain damage
- Nerve damage
- Liver and kidney damage
- Hearing loss
- Bone marrow damage
- Lung damage
- Weakened immunity
Depending on the areas of the brain that are damaged, other effects include memory loss, learning disabilities, and delayed behavioral development. The individual may also experience a loss of coordination and personality changes.
Contact Spokane Falls Recovery Center Today to Learn About Treatment
If you or a loved one is abusing or addicted to inhalants, it is imperative to seek professional treatment as soon as possible. The dangers of inhalant abuse and addiction are severe and carry a high risk of fatal overdose. Contact Spokane Falls Recovery Center today by calling 844.962.2775.